Sunday, July 12, 2009

Does Assad really want to invite Obama to Syria? :)

Obama on a 24-hour visit to Ghana 11 July 2009:

"No person wants to live in a society where the rule of law gives way to the rule of brutality and bribery. That is not democracy, that is tyranny, and now is the time for it to end. ... Africa doesn't need strongmen, it needs strong institutions."

"Repression takes many forms, and too many nations are plagued by problems that condemn their people to poverty. No country is going to create wealth if its leaders exploit the economy to enrich themselves"

"This is about more than holding elections - it's also about what happens between them,"

The words of God do not justify cruelty to women

By Jimmy Carter*

12 July 2009

Discrimination and abuse wrongly backed by doctrine are damaging society, argues the former US president

"Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status ..." (Article 2, Universal Declaration of Human Rights)

"There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus." (Galatians 3:28)

I have been a practising Christian all my life and a deacon and Bible teacher for many years. My faith is a source of strength and comfort to me, as religious beliefs are to hundreds of millions of people around the world.

So my decision to sever my ties with the Southern Baptist Convention, after six decades, was painful and difficult. It was, however, an unavoidable decision when th e convention's leaders, quoting a few carefully selected Bible verses and claiming that Eve was created second to Adam and was responsible for original sin, ordained that women must be "subservient" to their husbands and prohibited from serving as deacons, pastors or chaplains in the military service. This was in conflict with my belief - confirmed in the holy scriptures - that we are all equal in the eyes of God.

This view that women are somehow inferior to men is not restricted to one religion or belief. It is widespread. Women are prevented from playing a full and equal role in many faiths.

Nor, tragically, does its influence stop at the walls of the church, mosque, synagogue or temple. This discrimination, unjustifiably attributed to a Higher Authority, has provided a reason or excuse for the deprivation of women's equal rights across the world for centuries. The male interpretations of religious texts and the way they interact with, and reinforce, traditional practices justify some of the most pervasive, persistent, flagrant and damaging examples of human rights abuses.

At their most repugnant, the belief that women must be subjugated to the wishes of men excuses slavery, violence, forced prostitution, genital mutilation and national laws that omit rape as a crime. But it also costs many millions of girls and women control over their own bodies and lives, and continues to deny them fair access to education, health, employment and influence within their own communities.

The impact of these religious beliefs touches every aspect of our lives. They help explain why in many countries boys are educated before girls; why girls are told when and whom they must marry; and why many face enormous and unacceptable risks in pregnancy and childbirth because their basic health needs are not met.

In some Islamic nations, women are restricted in their movements, punished for permitting the exposure of an arm or ankle, deprived of education, prohibited from driving a car or competing with men for a job. If a woman is raped, she is often most severely punished as the guilty party in the crime.

The same discriminatory thinking lies behind the continuing gender gap in pay and why there are still so few women in office in Britain and the United States. The root of this prejudice lies deep in our histories, but its impact is felt every day. It is not women and girls alone who suffer. It damages all of us. The evidence shows that investing in women and girls delivers major benefits for everyone in society. An educated woman has healthier children. She is more likely to send them to school. She earns more and invests what she earns in her family.

It is simply self-defeating for any community to discriminate against half its population. We need to challenge these self-serving and out-dated attitudes and practices - as we are seeing in Iran where women are at the forefront of the battle for democracy and freedom.

I understand, however, why many political leaders can be reluctant about stepping into this minefield. Religion, and tradition, are powerful and sensitive area to challenge.

But my fellow Elders and I, who come from many faiths and backgrounds, no longer need to worry about winning votes or avoiding controversy - and we are deeply committed to challenging injustice wherever we see it.

The Elders have decided to draw particular attention to the responsibility of religious and traditional leaders in ensuring equality and human rights. We have recently published a statement that declares: "The justification of discrimination against women and girls on grounds of religion or tradition, as if it were prescribed by a Higher Authority, is unacceptable."

We are calling on all leaders to challenge and change the harmful teachings and practices, no matter how ingrained, which justify discrimination against women. We ask, in particular, that leaders of all religions have the courage to acknowledge and emphasise the positive messages of dignity and equality that all the world's major faiths share.

Although not having training in religion or theology, I understand that the carefully selected verses found in the holy scriptures to justify the superiority of men owe more to time and place - and the determination of male leaders to hold onto their influence - than eternal truths. Similar Biblical excerpts could be found to support the approval of slavery and the timid acquiescence to oppressive rulers.

At the same time, I am also familiar with vivid descriptions in the same scriptures in which women are revered as pre-eminent leaders. During the years of the early Christian church women served as deacons, priests, bishops, apostles, teachers and prophets. It wasn't until the fourth century that dominant Christian leaders, all men, twisted and distorted holy scriptures to perpetuate their ascendant positions within the religious hierarchy.

I know, too, that Billy Graham, one of the most widely respected and revered Christians during my lifetime, did not understand why women were prevented from being priests and preachers. He said: "Women preach all over the world. It doesn't bother me from my study of the scriptures."

The truth is that male religious leaders have had - and still have - an option to interpret holy teachings either to exalt or subjugate women. They have, for their own selfish ends, overwhelmingly chosen the latter.

Their continuing choice provides the foundation or justification for much of the pervasive persecution and abuse of women throughout the world. This is in clear violation not just of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights but also the teachings of Jesus Christ, the Apostle Paul, Moses and the prophets, Muhammad, and founders of other great religions - all of whom have called for proper and equitable treatment of all the children of God. It is time we had the courage to challenge these views.

Jimmy Carter was US president from 1977-81. The Elders are an independent group of eminent global leaders, brought together by Nelson Mandela, who offer their influence and experience to support peace building, help address major causes of human suffering and promote the shared interests of humanity. © Guardian News and Media Limited 2009

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Obama's middle name will rescue America

Obama used mobile phones to deliver his message directly to the people and get elected.

Barack Hussein Obama will use his middle name to reach out to the 1.5 billion people and 57 countries that make up the Muslim world, put an end to the catastrophic "clash of civilisations" and get faith, trust and money flowing back to America.

I have a dream!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Crying WOLF too often

Click image to enlarge

When will self-victimising Jews stop accusing the world of anti-Semitism?

Whenever Israel's callous actions are criticised by friend or foe we get a chorus of howls from pro-Israeli organisations and media outlets around the globe. This is sometimes followed by reminders of the Holocaust in television and radio interviews, newspaper articles and repeat movies, all seemingly timed to detract attention from, or justify, Israel's misdemeanours.

Yes, there are a lot of racist and bigotted anti-Semites around the world.... and many more anti-Muslim, anti-Christian, anti-Arab, anti-American, anti-black, anti-Asian, anti-gay, anti-lesbian, anti-white-middle-class stereotypes......and the list goes on.

Anti-Semitism is real and present like any other human prejudice, but accusations of anti-Semitism can be emotional, imagined, exaggerated or false and the more such accusations fly around the less effective they become.

It is time for serial howlers of anti-Semitism to grow up, stop shooting themselves in the foot and stop defending the indefencible.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

58 massacres since 1947

Click images to enlarge

Israel has committed 58 massacres against the Palestinians since 1947. Full details here.

You must also see these...... extraordinary..... charts!

The current attack on Gaza is NOT a massacre. The relentless air raids and shelling have so far claimed the lives of over 1000 people and wounded 5000, but they do not amount to a massacre.

A high-quality Israeli massacre is closer to the target and more pornographic. It is packed with more hatred and contempt for the Palestinian refugees than a truckload of nail bombs. Judge for yourself.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The world should listen to this wise Israeli

Here is a most brilliant Israeli gentleman that deserves to be heard by the entire world. He is an anthropologist and peace activist who has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.

No Arab or Israeli person, that I am aware of, has ever uttered such good sense in the history of the 100-year Middle East conflict. His name is Jeff Halper. His wisdom and foresight cannot but penetrate the most rigid minds. Just watch the short video here and judge for yourself (15 minutes).

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Rare 1920s video footage: Arabs & Jews - friends to enemies

Watch here Lord Balfour addressing European Jewish immigrants in Jerusalem and get a real sense of how the 100-year-old Arab-Israeli conflict all started. Don't listen to fairy tales from either side, see history in the making with your own eyes.

Thank the foresighted French Jewish photographer and financier Albert Kahn for capturing the spirit of the times. (15 minutes)

Saturday, January 10, 2009

The 1948 Palestinian exodus - watch the video here

Here it is, sad and depressing.

Is it simply a manifestation of the cruelty of war, a disasterous example of the the idiocy and bravado of Arab governments or a reminder to the world of the continuing ethnic cleansing of Palestine? (27 minutes)

1967 War: watch the humiliating video

I am re-posting this video by popular demand. You can now watch it on this page. For a brief description and comments click here. (5 minutes)

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Palestinians should convert to Judaism

Click on images to enlarge

Israel says no country can tolerate rocket attacks on its civilian population. True, but Israel is not a country with legitimate borders. Hamas has actually been firing rockets into occupied Palestinian territory and not Israeli land.

Here is a map of Palestine that Israel does not want the world to see. It clearly shows how Israel has illegally expanded its territory into Palestinian lands since 1947 and that the region around Gaza hit by rockets is land that falls well outside the borders of Israel proper (as per the 1947 UN partition). The second map shows the exedus of refugees from Palestine as Israel grabbed more territory over 6 decades.

In firing mickey mouse rockets, not only has Hamas been acting in self defence - perfectly legally under international law - against the Israeli siege which has turned Gaza into a concentration camp but also resisting the occupation of Palestinian land immediately bordering Gaza to the north.

The Jewish law of eye for an eye means that the Palestinians are now entitled to kill at least 800 Israelis and wound 4000 others, of whom one third must be children. In fact, the Israelis have killed more than 5,100 Palestinians since 2000 while the Palestinians have killed 1000 Israelis, so to get even 4100 more Israelis must die.

No decent human being likes to see people being murdered and maimed but Israelis living on stolen Palestinian land, beyond the borders of Israel proper, cannot be described as human, let alone decent.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Zionist octopus grows a little tentacle in the heart of London

How the pro-Israel lobby in Britain benefits from a generous London tycoon

By Rajeev Syal, The Observer, Sunday 4 January 2009

Britain's most active pro-Israeli lobbying organisation - which flies journalists to Israel on fact-finding trips and organises access to senior government figures - has received nearly £1.4m in two years from a billionaire donor whose father made a fortune manufacturing arms in Israel.

The British Israel Communication and Research Centre, known as Bicom, has been one of the most active organisations behind the scenes in the UK during the present Gaza offensive, organising briefings and interview opportunities with senior Israeli spokesmen.

Its biggest funder is Poju Zabludowicz, a London-based tycoon, who has underwritten its campaigning since 2007. The disclosure comes amid an intense struggle in Britain between lobbying organisations working for both sides in the conflict. Foreign affairs specialists say that the injection of funds has ensured that Bicom has become one of the most persistent and slickest media operations in the battle for influence over opinion formers.

Company accounts show that Zabludowicz, whose fortune was founded on the success of his father's arms company, donated £937,995 to Bicom in 2007, around half its total income, and £341,694 in 2006.

Bicom, which claims to be an independent organisation devoted to seeking a more supportive environment for Israel, is at the forefront of the campaign to win over the British media. Foreign reporters are bombarded with press releases and invitations to interview senior Israeli ministers and advisors at top London restaurants. Set up in 2001, it has regularly flown journalists to Tel Aviv. Read more.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Jewish Luftwaffe wreaks 6th day of carnage on Palestinians

And a happy New Year to you too, Israel. Revel in these pictures for now, but your turn will surely come; how can the cycle of violence stop while you continue to maintain your inhuman and vindictive siege of Gaza?

Postscript 3 January 2009: On the 8th day of Israeli attacks, the death toll has reached 440 and number of injured 2285. Israeli tanks have been shelling a number of areas to prepare the way for incursions into Gaza from several entry points. A number of civilians have been reported killed as a result of the shelling.

Click here for pictures of earlier horrific attacks on Palestinians in Gaza (Jabaliya Camp 27 Feb-3 Mar 2008).