Tuesday, April 28, 2009

What If He Was An Arab?

A judge ordered a 20-day psychiatric evaluation for an Israeli who is accused of rushing the cockpit of a plane en route from New York to Tel Aviv. The man, Itay Atmor, 22, forced the plane to make an emergency landing in Boston after he allegedly tampered with a keypad that locked the cockpit door of the Delta Air Lines flight. Imagine if this man was an Arab...what would have happened to him? Psychiatric evaluation? No way!

How much coverage did this story get in the US media?

Had he been an Arab or a Muslim FOX News would have had a field day with the story, but no he is Israeli, and must be harmless...just psychologically disturbed...he was homesick!

BTW, did anyone report that Atmor had served three years in an elite Israeli army unit?

Monday, April 27, 2009

That's Why I Don't Eat Ham

I've always thought pigs were cute...from a distance. I don't pet them, and I certainly don't eat them. I don't know how bad this swine flu epidemic is, but Dr. Sanjay Gupta has been freaking me out. After watching him on CNN today reporting from Mexico, I've decided to ban burritos from my table.

Anyway, Middle Eastern media is also obsessed with this story, more than I remember them being during the SARS epidemic. Why are they worried about swine disease when they hardly eat pig?

Here is the weirdest story of all: The outbreak of swine flu should be renamed "Mexican" influenza in deference to Muslim and Jewish sensitivities over pork, said an Israeli health official Monday.
Deputy Health Minister Yakov Litzman said the reference to pigs is offensive to both religions and "we should call this Mexican flu and not swine flu," he told a news conference at a hospital in central Israel.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Pakistan: Who's To Blame?

Speaking at the National Assembly, Pakistan's Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani said that the military could stop the Taliban and that the country's nuclear weapons were safe.
"Does this parliament not have moral courage to stop them?" he asked.
Pakistan is on a precipice. The Swat Valley, once called the Switzerland of Pakistan for its great natural beauty, is now the Taliban's battle ground for Islamic fundamentalism where harsh Islamic (shari'a) law is imposed on the population and fully sanctioned by the Pakistani government. In recent days, armed Taliban fighters have set up checkpoints and occupied mosques in the Buner region just 60 miles from Islamabad, declaring Islamic law before retreating after striking a deal with the government.
Will Pakistan eventually fall to the Taliban?

Read More on the Huffington Post


Thursday, April 23, 2009

Like Father, Like Son

The United States awarded contracts worth more than two million dollars to sons and allies of PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, Reuters revealed on Wednesday. The American government, apparently embarrassed by the disclosure, withheld some details on the grounds of privacy and fears that would leave the people vulnerable to terrorists.The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) said that family ties were not a factor in awarding the contracts, which included deals to repair roads and for mounting public relations campaigns to polish up America’s image. Other contracts were for advertising and promotions to help the Fatah party headed by Mahmoud Abbas, in the 2006 legislative election. Hamas surprised American experts and won a majority in the voting that the U.S. promoted as the introduction of democracy in the P.A. Abbas’s son Yasser, who owns the Falcon Electro Mechanical Contracting Company and Sky Advertising Company, won U.S. contracts through “full and open” bidding, USAID said. His brother Tarak is general manager of the advertising firm. Reuters pointed out that joblessness is the PA has doubled since the Oslo War, also known as the Second Intifada, began in 2000. It said the dealings with the Abbas family constitute a sensitive issue because of the hundreds of millions of dollars that the U.S. has pumped into the PA.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Could This Be Treason?

Rep. Jane Harman is asking the Justice Department to release its transcripts of wiretapped telephone conversations she reportedly had with a suspected Israeli agent in 2005 or 2006, according to the Wall Street Journal.
It had been reported several years ago that federal investigators looked into the California Democrat's discussions with the suspected Israeli agent. But yesterday, Congressional Quarterly's Jeff Stein published significant new details, including the allegation that the conversations secretly captured by NSA wiretaps were "directed at alleged Israel covert action operations in Washington."

Hey Israel and the West, Cry me a River

It's laughable how America, Israel and the rest of the West are so damn confused and upset as to why Israel is the hot topic at the UN Conference on Racism in Switzerland. Allegedly, the goal of the summit is to combat intolerance and racism in the global community, yet they call for tolerance of the most intolerant and racist regime in existence today. Israel, a nation built on a fundamentally racist ideology called Zionism and is, as usual, being treated with kid gloves by the global community. Why is Israel racist? Well... Zionism is a movement concerned with the creation of a purely Jewish state in Palestine. When the current Israeli administration calls for the remaining indigenous Arab populations inside their "borders" to perform loyalty tests to the nation that has devastated their people its hard not to think of them as fascists and racists. Are there any other nations in this world maintaining such a brutal and horrific occupation? All nations in the world carry some racist elements in them and they should all be criticized appropriately, but no other nation is allowed to be built on an explicitly racist ideology. If Zionism is not racism then I'd like all these diplomats to explain to me what it is exactly. Hey, western nations stop crying about it and explain to us how exactly how you justify Zionism.

Here's a little story to help us put this all in perspective... See this one German guy named Hitler tried that whole ethnic cleansing and wiping-out-any-people-he-deemed-unfit-for-his-nation-thing, half a century ago, and it really didn't work out for him too well back then. After that happened, this overarching international governing organization, the UN, was established with the goal of preventing such a thing from happening ever again. Unfortunately the same decade that German guy and his racist ideology were eradicated, the UN established a racist nation, Israel, on another peoples land, the Palestinians.

Frankly, it should not be surprising that Israel was singled out and attacked at the anti-racism conference, call me crazy. In fact, all the nations should have been harshly critical of Israel, instead of walking out like self-righteous hypocrites. Not everyone has to agree with Ahmadinejad's style or everything he said in his speech but by no means was he inappropriate in his denunciation of Israel and most importantly, Zionism.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Poor Israel? Sure, and I am Barack Obama!

By Parvez Sharma

I write from Geneva, where I was invited to speak at the UN "Durban II" conference on racism and have just today been spat at by two Israelis. I found myself (unknowingly) on what turned into a "bash Iran" panel with a problematic Zionist agenda. The expectation, perhaps, was that I, being Muslim and gay, would sit and join in the Iran-bashing choir. In doing the opposite I did not make myself the most popular person in the room.

A Donkey Day in Azzun

Azzun is a charming Palestinian town in the northern West Bank, 6 kilometres away from Qalqilya. It is one of the Palestinian cities that – because of its proximity to the green line – is literally surrounded and encircled by the Israeli matrix of walls, bypass roads and settlements.
But in Azzun, behind the daily hardship, there’s also entertainment. This week a donkey day was organised by the Palestinian association, PARC. It was a day filled with smiles, races and funny falls.

There are about 8,000 residents living in the tiny green village of Azzun and most of them are farmers as agriculture and herding comprises almost 40% of the town’s income.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Immigrants Don’t Feel Safe

For those who care about "immigration reform" in the United States, I recently participated in a joint hearing held by the San Francisco Immigrant Rights and Human Rights Commissions. The testomonies were credible and heartbreaking. Here is an article and a short video about the hearing by New America Media.

Disclosure: I'm the Chair of the Immigrant Rights Commission.

Update on the Iranian-American Journalist

A revolutionary court has sentenced an Iranian-American journalist, Roxana Saberi, to eight years in prison after convicting her of spying for the United States, her lawyer said Saturday.
“I’ll definitely appeal the verdict,” her lawyer Abdolsamad Khoramshahi told the Associated Press.
The United States has called the charges against Ms. Saberi baseless and demanded her release.
(I commented on April 14)
Link to the NY Times

Friday, April 17, 2009

Netanyahu: Let's Make A Deal

It hasn't taken Benjamin Netanyahu long to show his true colors by creating new hoops for the Palestinians to jump through in order to resume peace negotiations with Israel. The Israeli Prime Minister has reportedly told U.S. Special Envoy to the Middle East, George Mitchell, that the Palestinians must recognize Israel as a "Jewish state" before it will discuss establishing an independent Palestinian state.

This comes at a time when according to the Israeli newspaper Haaretz:
The Obama administration is preparing a Middle East peace process that will include simultaneous bilateral talks between Israel and the Palestinians, and between Israel and Syria. The plan is based on the Arab peace initiative that offers establishing normal relations between Israel and Arab League states in exchange for withdrawing from the occupied territories and establishing a Palestinian state. Read More!

Pita Feedah is here!

Greetings all,

The Chief Falafel Editor shook his finger at me yesterday for not contributing to the blog. I feel some hesitancy, as I am not by any means an authority on the Middle East. Thus, I have decided to inject some humor into this blog (with the promise of wiser words to come). I close my introductory post with this joke:
Knock Knock! Who's there? Falafel. Falafel who? Falafel off his bike and hurt his knee!

You're welcome,
The Korean

Falafel Balls.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

The Reality on the Ground

The new Obama “foreign policy” team needs to rethink its approach on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. It has the opportunity to reframe the central premise, and past axiomatic assumptions since all other past efforts have dismally failed.

After 40 years of Israeli occupation, a new reality exists: there is a “One State” controlled from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea by Israel. Inside it, two tiers of Palestinians have been created by Israel.

Tier one: Palestinians with Israeli citizenships living inside the green line, as defined by the 1948 ceasefire agreement.
Tier two: Palestinians who live in the West Bank and Gaza with no rights of whatsoever. 40 years have created a new reality that makes all past initiatives obsolete.
The Israeli governing elite has prided itself on being able to manage the conflict and keep Israel a “democratic state.” Historical irony and the march of fools by the settlement movement show that the conflict has managed the Israeli government.
Meanwhile, the vast majority of Palestinians are not interested in a “One State,” and the majority of Israelis are in denial that they have already created a “One State”. Therefore there is no common ground.
A quick disengagement may start to solve this Gordian knot; the other solution is to accept the reality of a “One State” with the democratic standard of one person, one vote.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Breaking News: The Birth of Injaz

At first, I thought about democracy, civil rights or something of substance when they were talking about a major achievement; however, this undated picture made available Tuesday, April 14, 2009, by Dubai's Camel Reproduction Center, shows the first cloned camel, called Achievement or Injaz in Arabic, who was born on April 8 after an uncomplicated gestation of 378 days, the Camel Reproduction Center said in a press release on Tuesday April 14, 2009.

Wow...this is a huge "injaz" in Arabia! I wonder what will they call the first woman in Saudi Arabia who will be the first to be issued a driver's license: Miracle or "I'jouba" in Arabic?

The Pirates of Somalzance

Foreign navies are trying to stop Somali pirates. The may only displace them, or
make them nastier.The Economist.

I totally agree. The core problem is that we are trying to find a maritime solution to a problem that will ultimately have to be solved on land.
Somalia has been riven by internal conflict and is without effective government. During the 1990s, some European interests exploited the power vacuum by dumping hazardous wastes and sending fishing boats into Somali waters.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

All For a Freaking Bottle of Wine

Iranian-American journalist Roxana Saberi will receive a verdict in her Tehran spying trial within weeks, Iranian officials said Tuesday.

A spokesman for Iran's judiciary, Alireza Jamshidi Saberi, told the semiofficial Mehr News Agency that Saberi, who freelanced for National Public Radio and the BBC, had completed her defense against spying charges at a trial Monday.

Her father, Reza Saberi, said that his daughter initially thought she had been detained for buying wine! Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Hassan Qashqavi said last month that Saberi had been working in Iran with a revoked press permit. Then Iranian officials said that Saberi has confessed to espionage charges, allegedly admitting her work for the media organizations was a cover. From buying wine to a spy?

I smell vinegar and not wine in this story. Is she a reporter or a spy?---I'll keep you posted as the story develops; however, here is the rule of thumb: NEVER BUY WINE FROM MULLAHS!

Monday, April 13, 2009

You Can't Kiss Your Wife in Public

We have 1001 problems around the world from a financial crisis to wars, hunger, and disease, but Saudis get all bent out of shape because a man kisses his wife.

"Saudi Arabia’s religious police have been forced to issue a rare apology after a member of one of the country’s most influential tribes said he was beaten by police for allegedly kissing his wife in public. " Read and weep!
Disclaimer: This is NOT the picture of the Saudi "kissing" couple!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

I Miss Easter in Jerusalem

I miss being in Jerusalem during Easter when the Old City used to be abuzz with tourists and pilgrims. I miss the scuffles that used to break between Greek Orthodox priests and other denominations at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher during Holy Saturday (Sabt el Noor). I miss Palm Sunday (Eid el Sha’nineh) without the watchful eyes of Israeli soldiers toting M-16s.

Hope for Palestine? Not so much...

Lets see...

On the one hand I'm relieved to see that the scum of the Israeli swamp is finally rising to the surface. As we can finally see, the current Israeli government (like all previous Israeli governments) is not interested in a two state solution, a one state solution, or any solution for that matter.. Unless they could have their way which would be to some how get away with the theft of every inch of Palestinian land while somehow all these remaining indigenous inhabitants could conveniently evaporate into thin air. That's not gonna happen. So the "peaceful solution" that they supposedly strive for is no where in sight... as is usually the case. The only difference is, the whole world can see it now. Unfortunately, even though this fascist government has been painfully honest about their utter contempt for a just compromise with the Palestinians, our oh-so-revolutionary president Obama (who has all the power to affect this situation for the better) has not said a damn word. Yup, things are definately looking up...


Friday, April 10, 2009

Algerian Democracy!

President Abdelaziz Bouteflika hailed his landslide re-election for a third term as a "lesson in democracy" on Friday, but opposition politicians and independent media alleged fraud at the polls, and the U.S. government expressed concern.
Interior Minister Noureddine Yazid Zerhouni said Bouteflika won 90.24 percent of votes in Thursday's election.
How come Arab leaders always win 90% + of the vote?--- Just wondering.

The Enemy of My Enemy is My Friend

The war of words between the Egyptian government and the Lebanese Shiite group Hezbollah has escalated after Egypt's public prosecutor recently ordered 49 people held for plotting attacks on behalf of Hezbollah be kept in custody for an additional 15 days.
The 49 suspects include Egyptians, Palestinians, and Lebanese. They were reportedly arrested six months ago. According to a statement released by prosecutor Abdel Meguid Mahmoud, Hezbollah leader Seyyed Hassan Nasrallah is directly implicated in the case and accused of ordering his group to carry out "hostile operations" inside Egypt after his call to the Egyptian people and army to turn against the ruling regime. The rest on the Huffington Post.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Nasrallah vs. Mubarak

Hassan Nasrallah will be responding in few hours ( Friday evening Lebanon time) to the Egyptian authorities' accusations that Hezbollah was planning attacks inside Egypt. This development could plunge Cairo's relations with Hezbolla's backer, Iran, to new lows.

Sheesh K is Here

Glad to be blogging with Baba G and the Chief of Falafel. It's about time that the world of Falafel is taking the lead on providing new, analysis, and commentary about the Arab World, the Middle East and beyond. I, for one, am tired of mainstream media, corporate media, and even so-called progressive media essentially re-formatting the press releases from world capital without much critical analysis. Long Live Arab Falalfel.

So my forst brief post is based on the report from Al Mezan that, surprise surprise, the israeli "defense" force used Palestinian civilians and children as human shields. Another war crime? You decide. But for me this yet another piece of evidence that the massacre in Gaza was, and continues to be, a crime against humanity. Wake up!

Sheesh K

News Brief New Al Mezan Report on the Use of Palestinian Civilians as Human Shields by the Israeli Occupation Forces

Al Mezan has published a new report on the use of Palestinian civilians as human shields by the Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF). In this report, entitled: ‘Hiding Behind Civilians: April 2009 Update Report,” Al Mezan presents seven new case studies. These case studies, based on comprehensive field investigations and witness statements, demonstrate that the IOF continues to systematically use Palestinian civilians as human shields in breach of international humanitarian law (IHL), international human rights law (IHRL) and even Israeli domestic law. Six of these incidents took place during Operation Cast Lead launched against the Gaza Strip between 27 December 2008 and 18 January 2009, and one took place earlier in 2008.The first section of the report briefly presents relevant legal provisions related to the use of Palestinians as human shields. The second section presents seven case studies which provide yet further evidence of widespread and systematic grave violations of IHL and IHRL. In the first incident a 15-year-old boy was used as a human shield by the IOF and then detained in a hole for four days. The boy now suffers from serious mental health difficulties. In the second incident a 10-year-old boy was forced to carry-out life endangering tasks. When he was unable to complete a task, he was hit by an IOF soldier. In the third incident an elderly man was forced to run in front of IOF soldiers to protect them from potential attacks in an area that was under fire, placing the life of the man in grave danger. In the fourth incident, IOF soldiers ordered a civilian man to go into a house where Palestinian fighters were hiding to retrieve their weapons thereby putting his life in grave danger. The victim now suffers from psychological problems. In the fifth incident, the IOF used two brothers as human shields. One brother was shot and bled to death after the IOF fired on a rescue convoy including Red Crescent ambulances and a UN vehicle. The other brother was injured, denied medical care and as a result had two fingers amputated. In the sixth incident, a young man was used as a human shield by the IOF and severely beaten. In the seventh incident, a man was held by IOF and made to walk with soldiers as they searched houses. The man was then treated cruelly and inhumanely, taken to a detention center in Israel and then released in an area where military operations were taking place.In endangering the lives of civilian men, women and children through systematically using them as human shields, the IOF is committing crimes tantamount to war crimes and crimes against humanity according to IHL. Palestinian and Israeli human rights organizations have taken all steps within their power to protect Palestinian civilians from this cruel and lethal practice, winning in 2005 a legal battle to secure a prohibition of the use of civilians as human shields under Israeli law. The Israeli authorities continue to refuse to implement the orders of their own highest judicial body, let alone adhere to their clear obligations as an occupying power under IHL. These practices, and the culture of impunity within the Israeli military system, compel the international community, and especially the High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention, to act.Al Mezan therefore calls for urgent international intervention. Al Mezan calls on the UN to investigate the widespread use of human shields by the IOF in Gaza. Further, Al Mezan calls on the EU to consider this serious violation of international law and make use of the legal, political and diplomatic means at its disposal to ensure Israel's compliance with: international law; and its own international obligations to the international community, including the EU which has bilateral relations with Israel including legally binding agreements.Al Mezan Center for Human Rights strongly condemns Israel’s continued disregard for the rules of international humanitarian law when dealing with civilians in the oPt, and its non-compliance with international human rights law. Al Mezan Center emphasizes that the continued failure of the international community to fulfill its obligations and its silence on Israeli violations encourages Israel continue to violate international law by sanctioning war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Baba G has arrived!

Ahlan wa sahlan!

Looking forward to the unraveling of Falafel News Service.

Keep an eye out for my posts, folks.


I still don't understand why nothing has been done to prevent these Somali Pirates from boarding the huge ships. I mean, if shipping companies are willing to pay millions in ransom money, why don't they hire armed security groups with heavy machine guns (a la Coast Guard) to blow them out of the water? I saw a video of those pirates; they ride around in dinghies!

Job Offer

I received a call yesterday from a recruiter working for a television network I've been criticizing for the past several years. They want to to hire me. If you can't beat them...join them or buy them out! Is this how the expression goes?

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

The Egyptian Organ Mafia

If you suffer from a kidney stone bout in Egypt, DON'T go to a shady hospital or clinic. You may lose a kidney. This is what's been happening there due to the financial crisis in Egypt. I saw this report on Al Arabiya TV, where victims told their stories and how they winded up missing a kidney or another organ after they checked out of certain hospitals and clinics. Disturbing.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

The Cessna Pilot

Leave it to CNN and FOX to freak out everyone about this suicidal Canadian Cessna pilot who flew into the US. I've been watching all these experts talking about the "what ifs". What if he was carrying a dirty bomb? What if he was planning to crash into a government building? and so on... There are hundreds if not thousands of trailer trucks and vans which can carry a bigger payload than this Cessna crossing from Canada and Mexico into the U.S., not to mention all the un-inspected cargo that comes on boats. This poses more danger than a suicidal pilot.

By Popular Demand

As you may already know, I maintain a blog on the Huffington Post where I post an item or two on a weekly basis. But since I've received many requests from Mosaic Intelligence Report viewers to do more postings...here you have it: the Jamal Dajani bogspot...under construction...be patient!