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Name: Antony Loewenstein
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Tuesday, January 31, 2006

The choice is easy

Some, of course, simply believe Hamas should be ignored. It is precisely this kind of Western arrogance that (partly) led to the Hamas victory, will lead to more bloodshed and force Hamas to seek support in the Islamic world. While Mahmoud al-Zahar, leader of Hamas in the occupied territories, discusses his group's future plans and ideals, others, such as Azzam Tamimi, director of the Institute of Islamic Political Thought, argues that new opportunities for peace are emerging:

"Contrary to the claims of alarmists who see the Hamas election victory as a threat to peace, new opportunities for making peace could now emerge. The peacemaking episodes of the past were based on assumptions absolutely unacceptable to the majority of Palestinians and those who support the justice of their cause. From Oslo to the road map it was always assumed that Israel was the victim that needed to live in peace and security and that the key to this was the end of Palestinian terrorism. The new peace process that Hamas may indeed be willing to be part of should be based on the fact that the Palestinians are the victims and have been victims since Israel was created on their soil. It is not Palestinian terrorism that is the problem, but Israeli aggression.

"Well, let the Palestinians dream of the end of Israel and let the Israelis dream of Eretz Yisrael from the Nile to the Euphrates, but let's negotiate an end to the violence. Hamas alone is capable of that because Hamas will not give up the right of Palestinians to go back to the villages and towns from which the terrorists who stole their land drove them."

It is inconceivable that an Australian newspaper would publish such an article. Indeed, Arab and Palestinian voices have been virtually silent in the local press, as if their views, hopes and fears - including about women in Gaza - should always come secondary to Israelis and Americans.


Blogger leftvegdrunk said...

There are some very sensible comments in this editorial from the Christian Science Monitor.

Love the cartoon. Where's it from?

Tuesday, January 31, 2006 2:21:00 pm  
Blogger Wombat said...

Link doesn't work mate.

Tuesday, January 31, 2006 3:12:00 pm  
Blogger leftvegdrunk said...

Well aren't I a bloody drongo.

(Thanks, Addamo!)

Tuesday, January 31, 2006 3:42:00 pm  
Blogger David said...

Here are a few quotes that explain why reputable newspapers wouldn't touch Azzam Tamimi with a 20 ft. barge pole.

Let's start with the ritual accusations of Jewish conspiracy:

[The US campaign in Afghanistan] “is about an elite that is so despotic and so corrupt. And don’t be fooled by American democracy. American democracy is the most undemocratic in the world. It is the most corrupt political system in the world. Because it is with the dollars that you get to the White House and to the Congress, and not because people love you. It is through Jewish money and the Zionist lobby that the president becomes the president and a member of congress goes to congress. And through the supporting of the killing of Palestinian children and women that they get to make decisions for the entire world. It is not based on a free choice by the American people.”

Azzam Tamimi - speech delivered during Islamic Awareness Week, Nottingham, UK (March 2002)

And then there is the hearty round of applause for child suicide bombers:

“Well the only good thing about this [UN Security Council Resolution condeming suicide terrorism] resolution is that it shows that the world is shaking. And that shows that the children of Palestine who are defending their historic rights with their own bodies and blood have made a change. And therefore more of this [suicide bombings] will get us better results. More of this will mean and end to this injustice that is imposed on us

Azzam Tamimi - speech delivered duringIslamic Awareness Week, Nottingham, UK (March 2002)

During a speech on the floor of the Commons, MP Louise Ellman cited another juicy Tamimi tidbit tat was an out-and-out call for an ethnic cleansing of Jews from Israel, if not genocide:

They [Israel's Jews] can sail on the sea in ships back to where they came, or drown in it.

United Kingdom Parliament, House of Commons Debates (Hansard), Volume 415 – Part No. 14, 2003, Columns 1764-1765 (18 November 2003)

And let's not forget this little exchange during an interview that revealed Azzam Tamimi's take on 9/11:

Tamimi - Everyone in the Arab world applauded the attacks against the World Trade Center

Interviewer- Excuse me, did you understand my question?

Tamimi- In the Arab and Muslim countries everyone jumped for joy. That's what you asked me, isn't it?

Dr. Azzam Tamimi (interviewed by Victor M. Amelia), “I admire the Taliban: They are Courageous,” La Vanguardia (Spain) (8 November 2001)

And finally, there is Tamimi's view on gender equity, or to be more specific, a complete lack thereof. When asked about the Islamic acceptability of a man's physical violence towards his wife, Tamimi professed to be perplexed by Western concerns about this issue:

“I know of many Arab women who regularly asked their husbands to beat them.”

Andrew Bannister, “Is Islam a threat to the West?,” (accessed 16 December 2004)

is quisnam somnus per canibus, orior oriri ortus per pulex (he who sleeps with the hounds, rises with fleas)

No wonder Antony's arguments are looking a bit fleabitten of late.

Tuesday, January 31, 2006 4:52:00 pm  
Blogger Moodymann said...

“I know of many Arab women who regularly asked their husbands to beat them.”

I feel bad, but I laughed out load when I read that.

Tuesday, January 31, 2006 5:39:00 pm  
Blogger orang said...

Ant, you should warn us before you link to Pipes. Some people have high blood pressure.

Tuesday, January 31, 2006 6:00:00 pm  
Blogger Progressive Atheist said...

Everyone in the Arab world applauded the attacks against the World Trade Center.

Not just the Arabs. Workers for an Israeli removal company in NY (actually a front) jumped for joy too. Remember? And when Netanyahu was asked what he thought about the attacks, he replied, "Splendid!"

Tuesday, January 31, 2006 9:41:00 pm  
Blogger Wombat said...

I garee with you about Azzam Tamimi’s propensity to trip over this own tongue, though after reading Andy Bannister’s piece, I wonder about the integrity of your sources.

Andy Bannisters piece read like it had been passed through a very biased filter. He warns against the threat of cultural imperialism, while failing to acknowledge that it has been alive and well for centuries in the West. He dotes repeatedly on the blatantly biased conclusions of Jay Smith, from the Park Christian Fellowship.

For example, take these quotes, “Mr. Smith challenged both Dr. Winter and Dr. Tamimi to show how one could exegete the sword verses in a way that was "peaceful", a challenge they failed to rise to. “
“Whilst those who had done any Islamic studies could easily see that Dr. Tamimi was attempting to give a glorious sheen to some decidedly tarnished aspects of Islamic history, the rest of the audience did not always follow.”

How blinkered does one to be to avoid the elephant in the room about the failure of Christian movement throughout history in this regard?
Bannister clearly went to the event, already knowing what he was going to report.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006 3:29:00 am  
Blogger David said...

Progressive falsehoods:

Sorry, Prog, but the "quotation" that you attribute to Bibi Netanyahu is a lefty urban legend, a falsehood.

And I find it fascinating that you seem to be buying into the loony lefty conspiracy theories linking Israel and the 9/11 attacks.

But then, I guess it stands to reason, doesn't it? After all, the Jews:

A) run the banks,
B) run the media
C) run the government
D) kidnap Christian children and ritually slaughter them to use their blood for Passover matzah
E) poisoned the wells, causing the Black Death of the 14th century
F) killed Jesus

Wednesday, February 01, 2006 7:06:00 am  
Blogger Wombat said...

What Netanyahu apparentyl did say was "it's very good" followed by, "it's not good, buit it will generate immediate sympathy for Israel"

It is revealing that in the face of disaster inflicted on Israel's greatest ally, Bibbi's first reponse was what was in it for Israel. How very galant and considerate of him.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006 10:32:00 am  
Blogger David said...

Nope Addamo:

You once again are dealing in lefty urban legend. Netanyahu never said anything of the sort. This is the sort of myth that is peddled by the same loony left/Arab outlets that claim Israel was responsible for 9/11.

And as for the claim of direct Israeli involvement, the same ABC (USA) 20/20 TV report that has been selectively quoted by the myth peddlers states clearly that the Israelis swooped up in the widespread arrest of thousands of foreigners after 9/11 had no knowledge of the attacks.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006 11:14:00 am  
Blogger Antony Loewenstein said...

Guess Naomi Klein must be lying about Netanyahu then?,2763,1301504,00.html

Hard to believe that Israel would be "pleased" with 9/11? That doesn't imply their involvement, merely their political understanding of how to "use" the event.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006 11:33:00 am  
Blogger Wombat said...

So David,

Do you have any proof that this is urban myth and been subsequently debunked, or are you relying loony right wing urban legend?

As for the 20/20 reporet, care to explain the Fox news sotry by Carl Cameron that quoted a US official as saying that information linking the events of 911 to Israeli spies had been classified? Hard to see how 20/20 could come to any conclusions seeing as one could safely presume the they could not report on classified documents.

Of course, the story was later pulled by Fox.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006 11:52:00 am  
Blogger Wombat said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006 11:56:00 am  
Blogger David said...


I'm not calling Klein a liar, I'm calling her a practitioner of irresponsible journalism. She doesn't source the quote, and Bibi denied he ever said such a thing. So the onus is on her, and she fails it. Just because you find the sentiment congenial doesn't mean you should believe it, a priori.

This whole quotation business sort of reminds me of the Georgie Ann Geyer episode in which the American columnist parroted the story that Sharon once boasted that the Jews run Washington. It turns out that "quote" was fabricated by the Islamic Association of Palestine, (IAP) which disseminated it in a press release. According to the IAP, Sharon's comments appeared in a news broadcast by Kol Yisrael, the Voice of Israel radio. Problem was, Kol Yisrael confirmed that no such broadcast had ever been made.

The "Jews run Washington" story was a scam conducted by an organization that has since been shut down by the US government for its ties to jihadist terrorism. In December, 2004, a federal judge in the U.S. city of Chicago ruled that the IAP (along with the Holy Land Foundation) was liable for a $156 million dollar lawsuit for aiding and abetting the terror group Hamas in the death of a 17-year-old American citizen. Though IAP has already had its assets frozen by the U.S. executive branch of the government, this represents the first time a U.S. court officially linked IAP to Hamas.

After the hoax was revealed, Geyer’s syndicate disseminated the following Editor’s Note which appeared on 14 June 2002 in the Chicago Tribune:

“Editor’s note: Georgie Anne Geyer’s May 10 [2002] column included a quote from Ariel Sharon, 'I control America.’ This quote was widely reported in the Palestinian press but cannot be confirmed in independent sources. Geyer and Universal Press Syndicate regret not having attributed the quote more specifically.”

More than a little journalistic egg on the face in that little episode.


The intelligence classification of the material is not surprising, nor is it incriminating towards Israel. There are any number of plausible reasons for it that have nothing to do with Israeli complicity. Source protection in an ongoing investigation is just one that comes to mind.

But what ABC (US) America did report was a statement from a senior FBI official who unequivocally stated that there was no Israeli involvement in 9/11.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006 4:51:00 pm  
Blogger Wombat said...


Fair enough re the Bibbi quote, but as you can see, it't misleading to suggest it is a moonbat lefty myth. Beside,s the fact that Netanyahu denied it is by no means evidence in itself. The guy is hardly renowned for his honesty.

If you want to get into discussing dissinformation, you could claim that every journalist who parroted the WMD/911/Al Qaeda connection line with regard to Iraq, was peddling right wing propaghanda. Ye sit was sources, but it was far from vetted by rigorous investigation.

Similarly with the Iranian nuclear issue. There are plenty of eight wing hacks saying that Iran is building nukes or enriching bomb grade materrial in spite of the evidence to the contrary. Very rarely, so these articels actually source information from nuclear experts - only politicians.

Unfortunately, it's these enablers of myth that have positioned themselves a the mainstream.

Thursday, February 02, 2006 12:48:00 am  

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