Guardian

CiF piece by Brian Whitaker on “why media believes worst about Iran” draws on conspiracy blog


Brian Whitaker simply doesn’t understand what all the fuss is about Iran.  

He’s baffled as to why the media blindly accepts the conventional wisdom about Iran’s quest to develop nuclear weapons.

Despite the recent IAEA report demonstrating that Iran has been working on developing a nuclear bomb since 2003, Whitaker offers an alternative explanation.

 “[Iran’s aspiration] possibly…wasn’t nuclear at all, but [rather] a project to manufacture nanodiamonds.”

Evidently, nanodiamonds can be used for polishing, as additives to engine oils, dry lubricants for metal industry, or as reinforcing fillers for plastics and rubbers.

You see, it’s all been a tragic misunderstanding. 

As proof of this alternative explanation – which has somehow eluded intelligence agencies, nuclear watchdog groups, and the international monitoring agency – Whitaker links to a fringe site called “Moon of Alabama“.

While I’ve never come across the blog before, a quick look reveals  a conspiratorial site which, in addition to being obsessed with defending the Iranian regime, shills for the Assad regime in Syria, alleges the “Israel lobby” is pushing for Turkey to invade Syria, and defends Sudan’s Omar Al Bashir’ from charges of ethnic cleansing.

Regarding the latter, the blog asks why “the neocon [Washington Post] editors are condemning Bashir, and accusing his regime of genocide, and then concludes:

“Another possible motivation behind the hostile position towards Sudan are Israeli considerations like the “Yeor plan” which envisions water supply for Israel through pipelines from the Nile…Supporting the suspicion that water for Israel is a motive for the false claims against Sudan is the fact that the “Save Darfur” movement is driven by Jewish interest groups.”

Of course!  It’s “Jewish interest groups” who are driving the reactionary campaign against the beleaguered Omar Al Bashir.

Further, the site advances conspiracy theories I’ve never come across before, such as the claim that al-Qaeda’s English language online magazine, Inspire, is actually produced as a “disinformation tool” by some Western agency.  They write:

 “Inspire is a general disinformation tool of some “western” agency with the additional purpose to flash out some dumb folks who then can be made into “terrorists” though FBI sting operations.”

The site also advances thinly veiled antisemitic narratives, as in this post, “Panetta tries to hold Israel back from attacking Iran“, which included this passage:

“A surprise attack on Iran by Israel alone, while useless against Iran’s nuclear program, would inevitably be followed by some acts from Iran against Israel to which the U.S. would than be pressed to respond by the Israel-firsters in Congress and the media.”

Oh yes, those “Israel-firsters” in the media.  Whoever could they be referring to?

So, Whitaker’s sole source in arguing that Iran is not – as commonly believed by Western intelligence agencies, and the IAEA – pursuing the production of nuclear weapons, is a fringe conspiracy blog which shills for Iran, as well as despots in Syria and Sudan, and advances antisemitic narratives regarding the threat posed by “Israel-first” media groups.

Please explain to me again why the Guardian is read by folks who fancy themselves “progressives”.

63 replies »

  1. Well, I don’t speak Persian, but despite that I certainly understood the phrase “bomba atoma” in Achmedinijad’s speech to his coerced thousands yesterday.

  2. Brian Whitaker is a one-man conspiracy against common sense and humanity.

    Perhaps nano-diamonds might be used in polishing the turd-like Whitaker?

  3. Basically, the Graun either doesn’t care if Ahmadinejad and his mates get their hands on nukes, or actually wants it to happen to ‘shake things up’ a bit.

    Hard to believe? Today’s editorial tells you all you need to know.

  4. Why would anyone believe the worst about Iran?
    Apart from the ‘speeches’ by its current President, it has a shocking track record of supporting terrorist proxy groups, and remember its tactic of ‘humanwave’ attacks.
    For those who may have forgotten what the Islamic Republic of Iran is capable of, this is a report by a East European Journalist, about their tactic of “humanwave” attacks, during the Iran-Iraq War in the 80s;
    ‘Lacking the equipment to open secure passages through Iraqi minefields, and having too few tanks, the Iranian command again resorted to the human-wave tactic. In March 1984, an East European journalist claimed that he “saw tens of thousands of children, roped together in groups of about twenty to prevent the faint-hearted from deserting, make such an attack.” The Iranians made little, if any, progress despite these sacrifices.’
    Now why would anyone believe the worst about such a regime?


    • The Middle East and Central Asia

      The Middle East is another area where child soldiers have become an integral part of the fighting. Children today are engaged in fighting in Algeria, Azerbaijan, Egypt, Iran (as part of rebel groups now fighting against the regime), Iraq, Lebanon, Sudan, Tajikistan, and Yemen. These include children younger than 15 serving in a number of radical Islamic groups. Young teens are also at the center of fighting in Palestine, making up as much as 70 percent of the participants in the intifada.
      The first modern use of child soldiers in the region was actually during the Iran-Iraq war in the 1980s. Iranian law, based on the Koranic sharia, had forbid the recruitment of children under 16 into the armed forces. However, a few years into the fighting, the regime began to falter in its war with its neighbor, Saddam Hussein’s Iraq. So it chose to ignore its own laws, and in 1984, Iranian President Ali-Akbar Rafsanjani declared that “all Iranians from 12 to 72 should volunteer for the Holy War.”24 Thousands of children were pulled from schools, indoctrinated in the glory of martyrdom, and sent to the front lines only lightly armed with one or two grenades or a gun with one magazine of ammunition. Wearing keys around their necks (to signify their pending entrance into heaven), they were sent forward in the first waves of attacks to help clear paths through minefields with their bodies and overwhelm Iraqi defenses. Iran’s spiritual leader at the time, Ayatollah Khomeini, delighted in the children’s sacrifice and extolled that they were helping Iran to achieve “a situation which we cannot describe in any way except to say that it is a divine country.”25

      http://www.brookings.edu/views/articles/fellows/singer20051215.pdf

  5. “Why would anyone believe the worst about Iran?”

    A better question would be, why are people keen to believe the worst about some regimes, but not apply the same standard consistently?

    For example, Israel violates more UN resolutions than any other state on Earth, has a track record of (for example) dropping white phosphorous on densely populated civilian areas, and lying about it.

    Why DON’T we all believe the worst about Israel? You will think the best of regimes that fit with your nationalist viewpoints (the “us”), and you will think the worst of regimes that you are led by the “free press” to hate (the “them”).

    Given the lies the UK and US told in the run up to the illegal invasion, destruction and occupation of Iraq, why does ANYONE believe ANYTHING these regimes say?

    The Iranian regime is detestable. The Israeli regime is detestable. But the Iranian people, and the Israeli people, are, on the whole, a pretty decent bunch.

    • That haven of peace and child protection, Sudan:

      Sudan has seen the largest use of child soldiers in the region, with estimates reaching as high as 100,000 children who have served on both sides of the two decades-old civil war. Since 1995, the Islamic government in the north has conscripted boys as young as 12 into the army and the paramilitary Popular Defense Forces. Homeless and street children have been a particular target. Poor and refugee children who work or live on the streets have been rounded up into special closed camps. Ostensibly orphanages, these camps have often acted as reservoirs for army conscripts.31 The government has also targeted children in the towns it holds in the south to use against their kinsmen in the rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA). One report found that 22 percent of the total primary school population in Wahda province had been recruited into the Sudanese army or pro-government militias, the youngest being 9 years old.32

      http://www.brookings.edu/views/articles/fellows/singer20051215.pdf

    • Tim, given that the UN has a distinctly anti-Israel pro-Palestinian bias, that’s a non-starter isn’t it?

      And if you are looking for lies told, you need go no further than the Palestinians about Israel, aided and abetted by the likes of you and the Groan.

      The Israeli regime is far from detestable and should not, strictly speaking, even be mentioned in the same sentence as Iran. For you to do so in such a facile way shows your lack of intelligence and understanding (at least, and that’s being kind). Israel celebrates diversity in a way Iran never could or will.

      And she does not hang gays or allegedly adulterous young women, nor stone people to death, nor flog them.

      Out of interest, why are you posting here? Doesn’t posting lies on your own blog give you the buzz it once did?

  6. @dubitante: “Israel violates more UN resolutions than any other state on Earth”

    This is a very general statement. The UN has several types of resolution and only a very few are binding. In any case, Israel has legal arguments for its actions and the charge of violation needs to be debated. (Let’s note here that the Arab League for example, in 1948 responded to UNGAR 181by going to war against Israel; there was no legal argument.)

    Another factor is that Israel is the most condemned nation on earth. A few years ago, 30-40% of UN condemnations were against Israel. In the last season both the UNGA and UNHRC managed to get that near 80%. There is no country on earth that can possibly be worth 30% of the UN’s finger-wagging time all by itself, let alone 80%. Ergo, the UN is simply not doing its job and Israel has become its whipping boy.

    • “This is a very general statement. The UN has several types of resolution and only a very few are binding.”

      True. To an extent. The UNGA can issue only recommendations, but it is also a source of customary international law, so resolutions adopted by the UNGA that are adopted unanimously, or near unanimously can become part of customary international law, and therefore binding upon all states.

      “In any case, Israel has legal arguments for its actions and the charge of violation needs to be debated.”

      There is no serious debate within legal circles to this. Only political and quasi-legal arguments put forward by Israel and its supporters. The UN the ICJ (heck, even the US, at least in word) is in consensus on Israel’s legal position.

      “Let’s note here that the Arab League for example, in 1948 responded to UNGAR 181by going to war against Israel; there was no legal argument.”

      Let us also note that the Arab League did not go to war based on resolution 181. The resolution, which was only ever a recommendation to the British – a recommendation, it has to be said, that the British did not agree with and refused to implement.

      The ethnic cleansing of Palestine of its indigenous Arabs DID commence following the UN vote in November 1947. There was no full scale war until the Zionist terror groups, who had been cleansing Palestine for months, unilaterally declared Israel to exist on what was predominantly Arab land – in direct violation of UNGAR181 it has to be noted.

      There are many double standards at the UN. You name but one. Another, for example, is that Israel is ALLOWED to violate such a huge number of resolutions without punishment.

      Your apologea for Israel’s woeful record on international law ignores that had it observed international law and the earlier UN resolutions, the later UN resolutions would not even have been necessary.

      The establishment of the state of Israel was, and still is one of the UN’s biggest failures, and has inevitably become a yardstick by which the member states view the body’s effectiveness.

      Israel is isolated and deeply unpopular for precisely this reason, If you’re going to thumb your nose at the international community for this long, it’s going to rebound.

      • I see you lack the critical faculties necessary for intelligent insight, dubitante.

        How do I know this?

        Because nothing you have written here is original and everything reflects that you are parroting rubbish you have swallowed unthinkingly from the likes of the PSC/ISM/Idiot Bunglawala/Stop the War &c &c.

        You give no indication either of any awareness of the history of the area before the Jewish state was created (ie that there has been an indigenous Jewish population in what is now Israel since before the muslim prophet’s time), or that on many occasions the Palestinians could have had their own state but preferred to make war against hated Jews instead, and lost again and again.

        (One index of intelligence is to be able to learn from past experience not to repeat mistakes. Goaded by their wrong-headed supporters in the west and elsewhere, Palestinians have not learned not to do the equivalent of touching a hot stove after they have been burned. But I guess when you love death more than life and are proud of that, then Palestinian lives are cheap, particularly if, like you dubitante, your own life is not on the line).

        Israel may be deeply unpopular in your tiny world and in your even tinier mind. Myself, I believe that she contributes far too much to the world for her to be as isolated as you “think” (or want). Hers is the fastest growing economy in the Middle East and this in spite of her being under threat.

        The UN’s effectiveness, if that’s not an oxymoron, is better judged (again by more intelligent and critical thinkers than you) by the boneheadedness of her predominantly anti-Israel delegates and the spinelessness of those who lack the courage to stand up to them.

      • So the General Assembly is a source of customary international law?
        In a word…nonsense.

        UNGA resolutions serve as treaty law, although they are not binding.
        By and large, customary international law derives from generally accepted norms,principles and customs among civilized nations.

        • “In a word…nonsense.”

          You can trust me on this one.

          “By and large, customary international law derives from generally accepted norms,principles and customs among civilized nations.”

          Keep going, you’re nearly there…If a resolution in the UNGA is unanimously or near unanimously adopted…..could it be described as….an “accepted norm”?

          • “You can trust me on this one”

            Looks like you’re asking for a bigger shovel to keep digging that hole.

            International law is based on a] customary norms and b] treaty law.

            Whereas treaty law deals with signed bilateral and/or multilateral agreements, customary international law, on the other hand, is based doctrinally on historical precedents.

            It is analogues to how ‘stare decisis’ operates in English common law. Yet, it is not the same thing. I wanna make it perfectly clear now.

  7. The ethnic cleansing of Palestine of its indigenous Arabs DID commence following the UN vote in November 1947.

    Most Arabs were not indigenous, They were immigrants.

    Why do you fail to mention that the “ethnic cleansing” occurred at the behest of Arabs?

    This is the wrong place to come to to lie.

    • “Most Arabs were not indigenous, They were immigrants.”

      In Palestine Studies, that’s what we call “The Wilderness Myth”. The suggestion that Palestine was a wasteland until Jews made the desert bloom.

      It’s a simple myth which is dispelled by simply looking at the facts. For example, the Ottoman empire, like most empires, kept very detailed population statistics for Palestine. I’m sorry to say, that the Arabs of Palestine had been living there and working the land for centuries before the advent of Zionism.

      “This is the wrong place to come to to lie.”

      The record shows the opposite. Having read the comments on many posts on this site, it seems that this is the place where debunked myths come to live when there is nowhere else for them to go. e.g. – The Wilderness Myth.

      Other myths include:

      – The purity of arms myth
      – The UN created Israel myth
      – The 1967 defensive war myth.
      – The Balfour Declaration Myth.

      …and so on.

      “Why do you fail to mention that the “ethnic cleansing” occurred at the behest of Arabs?”

      Because it isn’t relevant to the establishment of Israel? Note: I’m a supporter of the rights of Jews who were expelled from their ancestral homes in Arab countries to receive compensation. Just as I’m a supporter of the rights of Palestinian refugees.

      • What record Tim? Written by whom? By the UN?

        And what on earth could “Palestine Studies” be except a euphemism for pushing the antiZionist (and for that you may read antisemitic according to whether there is an “r” in the month, or Tim is in need of his fix).

        I’d bet my next month’s salary that “Palestine Studies” reflects only the familiar belligerent self-pity from the most accomplished and manipulative charity cases on earth.

        Do universities actually pay people to spread this and if so which?

        • “What record Tim? Written by whom? By the UN?”

          I was referring to this site. This site is the record. If I understand you.

          “And what on earth could “Palestine Studies” be except a euphemism for …..[snip idiocy]”

          Do we say the same for “Israel studies?” Or is that different?

          • Does it matter? Again, I ask you, where are “Palestinian Studies” taught and by whom? Do share with us a sample of the curriculum. Is there a special module on Big Lies and belligerent self-pity?

            Israel exists de jure and de facto. She has earned her right to exist by her contribution to mankind.

            Ask yourself why Palestine has not been welcomed with open arms into the family of nations, even where there is a Muslim majority? Could it be that when push comes to shove, their Muslim brothers don’t want to lose their focus of “suffering”? Because of this, “Palestine” exists in a few mad heads, who have done nothing to benefit mankind, and nothing except bleat about how badly they are treated, how they are “strangled” and “starving” when they are in receipt of more aid than all the starving nations put together.

            If they had spent as much time and energy on pursuit of peace as in educating their young to want to die “gloriously” or teaching them to hate Jews, they could have had their state long ago and be thriving in partnership with their neighbour. Instead there are pockets of luxury alongside poverty in Gaza and the West Bank , depraved corruption and always hatred and always, always, they blame everyone else but themselves. But why should they blame themselves when idiots like you help them dodge responsibility?

            • @Snigger – Let me explain to you, in small words, why you are no better than the worlds worst anti-Semite:

              “Do share with us a sample of the curriculum. Is there a special module on Big Lies and belligerent self-pity?”

              Pure, shameless, racism. No wonder you’re quite at home here.

              If I had written:

              “Israel studies? Is there a special module on trickery and organ stealing?”

              We would be calling it anti-Semitism. But you’re not in the least bit ashamed of your knuckle dragging ignorance, you seem actually quite proud of it.

              Henceforth, you shall be known as – he who shall be ruthlessly ignored.

              • The Palestinians are not a race, but Arabs are. Palestinians are Arabs.

                The Israelis are a people comprised of Jews and other races, including Israeli Arabs who hold high office and serve in the army. How many Jews live in Arab countries, O Wise One of Infinite Understanding and Intelligence?

                You had better go back to school Tim if you can’t understand the difference.

                And do I detect a hint of paranoid projection in your posts here?

                I note you can’t answer my question. What exactly ARE “Palestinian Studies”? At which universities are they taught and when did they begin to be taught and by whom? Are they funded by Saudi or other Arab countries? You can understand my reluctance to take your burblings seriously given the rot you have spouted hitherto.

                If you don’t know, then say so!

  8. “Palestine Studies” is a good joke. We’ve all read the lies and Israelis have to live them as do other survivors of “Palestinian” terrorism. And what about those dead from it?

  9. @dubitante: The international consensus to which you refer has also seen fit to accept the expulsion of all Jews from Jerusalem in 1948 as permanent, while fretting eternally about Arabs who became refugees in the same war, by whatever cause. It also conferred upon those refugees and their progeny a special status not offered to any other refugees in the world.

    International consensus has some unacceptable biases.

  10. @Brad – International consensus forms the basis of international law. Israel is free to withdraw from the UN, there is no gun to their head.

    The right of return has been repeatedly shown to be essential to solving conflicts in which ethnic cleansing has taken place. One of the key reasons that this conflict rumbles on, is that the International Community has been politically blocked from working to achieve said rights.

    Personally, I think a two state settlement is the worst of the proposed “settlements”. A single binational state offers much better chances for long term peace.

    • @Brad – Your question implies you think that a “Jewish state” has an a priori right to exist. Would that be correct?

      States don’t have a right to exist. People have a right to self determination.

  11. dubitante: In a world with an increasing number of (vociferously) Islamic States, a Jewish state is established in a small part of the ancestral Jewish homeland. The “world” as I explained earlier, judges this state with wildly disproportionate harshness. Your reponse is that it does not have to be a member of the world club that judges it and you believe that it should not exist as a Jewish State.

    You deny the right of self-determination to the Jewish people.

  12. @Brad – There are two problems with that argument:

    1. Self determination for Jewish people is not predicated upon the existence of a Jewish state. Self evident, when you consider that Jews have realised the right to self determination in other countries. Also self evident when you consider that Christians do not require a Christian state, Catholics do not require a Catholic state etc.

    2. Self determination, that which you claim to hold dear, is precisely the thing which was denied to the Arab majority when establishing the state of Israel, and it is precisely the thing which is being denied to Palestinians now.

    • (1) Who says so? You?
      Jews have always been in danger in other countries. There are many Christian states, and even a mope like you knows that there is the Vatican.

      (2) For heaven’s sake read your history! The Palestinians have been offered their own state countless times!

      (Are you doing this for a dare, or because you are bored?)

      • (1) – Yes, me. It should be self evident after 5-10 seconds of thought. Countries which have, say a Christian heritage (e.g. the UK), do not demand recognition from their minorities of recognition as a “Christian state”.

        And don’t be daft, Catholics do not gain self determination via Vatican city.

        (2) Palestinians have never, EVER been offered that to which they are legally entitled.

        • Hang on… you may be correct….. but only partially

          Not content with what they were offered in 1947, the Palestinians wanted all of what is now Israel too. Israel exists de jure and de facto.

          You are right that they were never offered it but then they were never legally entitled to it either.

          • “Not content with what they were offered in 1947, the Palestinians wanted all of what is now Israel too. Israel exists de jure and de facto.”

            What were they offered in 1947? What was the offer? The offer of having 55% of their ancestral homeland and 85% of their agricultural land turned over to the European, immigrant minority? Can you see why they might not have been “content?”

            “You are right that they were never offered it but then they were never legally entitled to it either.”

            The right to self determination of indigenous peoples had already been established in international law by 1947, so yes, they were entitled to do as they pleased.

  13. I think we should all thank Tim / dubitante for regurgitating the usual predictable nonsense about Israel, complete with whataboutery, thereby giving those who replied to him the chance to undermine the lies and repeat once again the truths about what he is trying to argue.

    There seems to be a curious, perhaps dangerous, overidentification on the part of the Tims of this world with murderous regimes who oppress their own people and yet bleat that they are oppressed. This overidentification leaves them snake-fascinated in the face of Islamist/Palestinian lies.

    Someone (Mitnaged?) once wrote here I think that such antipathy/hatred may be akin to the fix one can get from an addictive drug. I would imagine that Tim /dubitante and his ilk would feel very empty inside if Israel suddenly ceased to exist and all her citizens were either wiped out or forced to flee. All the haters and misguided ones like Tim / dubitante would have to withdraw “cold turkey”

  14. dubitante: Christians did not need to declare states to be Christian because it was assumed and such states have public holidays that reflect this: Christmas, Easter.

    Your remark: “Jews have realised the right to self determination in other countries.” …. where they have to take special leave to celebrate their Jewish Holy Days. Of course this does not take into account the glaring facts of history regarding Jews living in non-Jewish countries. Have you taken leave of your senses in making this argument?

    The Arab Majority: You have of course localised this so that the Jews, a 4,000 year old religion of major importance to world history, are equivalent to the Arabs who happened to live in that small part of the ancestral Jewish homeland. Those Arabs had an Arab identity and a religious one but not a strong local one. Had they, there would have been a huge push for nationhood between 1948 and 1967. In any case statehood has been on offer and refused.

    (It’s worth noting that those Arabs today, do have a much stronger identity as Palestinians. This is due to the discriminatory treatment meted out to them by the Arab League and their own leaders with the full cooperation of the UN, EU etc., the same people that find it convenient to condemn Israel 80% of the time.)

    • @Brad – “Christians did not need to declare states to be Christian because it was assumed and such states have public holidays that reflect this: Christmas, Easter.”

      And what would happen if we just assumed that Israel was predominantly Jewish, with Jewish holidays and the like? Do we need to define Israel as a Jewish state to have Jewish holidays? Do we need to define Israel as a Jewish state for Jews to have self determination there? Couldn’t it just be…..assumed?

      “Have you taken leave of your senses in making this argument?”

      Your argument is full of holes. You haven’t explained what a “Jewish state” has to offer that a “democratic state comprised predominantly of Jews” doesn’t.

      “Jews, a 4,000 year old religion of major importance to world history, are equivalent to the Arabs who happened to live in that small part of the ancestral Jewish homeland.”

      That’s an odd argument. What’s more, it’s an argument that 150 years ago would have drawn puzzled looks from most Jews. Was it not also the Canaanites ancestral homeland? And the Arabs ancestral homeland?

      “Those Arabs had an Arab identity and a religious one but not a strong local one.”

      Hmmm. True to at least some extent. Even Ben Gurion recognised the Arabs of Palestine as culturally distinct. If you don’t accept this, then you are, inadvertently making an argument for pan-Arabism, at which point you have to ask – what were the Zionists doing establishing a state in the Arab homeland?

      “Had they, there would have been a huge push for nationhood between 1948 and 1967. In any case statehood has been on offer and refused.”

      The Arabs of Palestine were slow to accept their conquest and dispossession at the hands of the Zionist terror groups. Can you blame them? They were mostly peasants who worked the land, and the bond between farmer and land is not easily broken.

      And of course, your argument is based on Jews not wanting to give up their “right to Eretz Yisrael” based on a very tenuous 3000 year old claim, and yet you expect Arabs to give up their much more substantial claim to Palestine after a few short years?? Remember that the Arab communities in Palestine were living there and working the land century after century.

      And yes, Palestinians, as a people, have been shaped by many things outside their control. Predominantly by the British and the French carving up the remains of the Ottoman empire, and also by the conquest of Palestine by the Zionist terror groups.

  15. dibutante: One little question re your 7:39 a.m. post.

    You said “…declared Israel to exist on what was predominantly Arab land ..”

    Was that “Arab land” a priori?

  16. dubitante: Why is there an Islamic Republic of Pakistan? Should this be allowed to stand?

    There are other countries with “Islamic” in the name but I picked Pakistan because of its interesting history.

  17. @Brad – In my view, any state which defines upfront its ethno-religious nature isn’t democratic, and therefore restricts the right to self determination of it’s minorities.

    Do you not agree? Can you not see any problem in defining the nature of a state in such a way that a fifth of its populace is defined as “not of this state”?

    • England, Denmark and Norway are consitutionally Christian. As agreed, many countries name themselves Islamic. The only religion under fire is Judaism.

      If you were serious about this, you’d be looking at the constitutions of the “newly-free” Arab-Spring countries to ensure their minorities were safe. A lot more people stand to be affected. Looking at what I assume is your blog of the same name, not a sausage.

    • Spot on. For once you and I can agree. Saudi is such a state, built on oppression and apartheid, and so are Jordan and other Arab countries/states which are Muslim and which restrict the right to self-determination of minorities, such as Christians and the few Jews who remain in them.

      • Of course, “few Jews who remain in them” doesn’t apply to Islamic Saudi, where no Jews are allowed and Jewish populations are dying out in other Islamic countries.. As I said, Saudi is truly an apartheid state and they have the nerve to accuse Israel!

        dubitante, is Brad correct that you haven’t even mentioned the Christians and others killed and at risk during the Arab spring? Perhaps you didn’t know about them?

        • My blog fails to mention a great many things. Deforestation, Saudi brutality and their support by the West, I don’t mention copyright laws, rape as a tool of war in Africa. I don’t talk about the military dictatorship in Egypt.

          The area of academia in which I specialise is Israeli propaganda. So, inevitably, that’s the area on which I focus. I’m not Amnesty International, I can’t do everything.

          • “Academia” ????

            And you are focused on Israeli propaganda like Greg Philo and his merry men. You probably are one of his merry men….. oh dear…..

            Well you are at least honest that you are biased.

            You are certainly not Amnesty International, that’s true, but why are you so obsessed about what you call Israeli propaganda, as opposed to, say, Hamas propaganda or Abbas’ speeches in which he can barely speak without changing what little mind he has? What, for example is your opinion about the murders of the Fogel family and what effect have those incidents and the other murders, shellings of civilians had upon the peace talks? What effect has Abbas mouthing that he wants peace and then glorifying suicide terror and sanctioning child abuse in the West Bank education system upon Israel’s trust that he can ever mean what he says?

            Don’t you agree that if you offset your often ill-founded and ill-researched excoriation of Israel against what Abbas and Hamas actually say you might get a broader picture and be more “solid” here?

            You can hardly say you are an academic and you cannot properly barely “do” Israeli propaganda properly if what you post here doesn’t reference at least that.

          • @dubitante 6:48a.m. “My blog fails to mention …”

            Well that’s about as good an answer as expected and is valid in some cases. I focus in defending Israel, not criticizing it but this is because it is under unfair attack, starting with the U.N.

            The fact is no-one is criticizing Islamic countries for being Islamic and there is very little criticism of the Arab Spring countries in order to spare minority religions. Obama is supporting the Muslim Brotherhood. Criticism of Israel for wanting to be Jewish is a World Hypocrisy. Joining in makes you a bully – at least.

    • “any state which defines upfront its ethno-religious nature isn’t democratic, and therefore restricts the right to self determination of it’s minorities’

      In imperial times going back to Rome, unrelated folks were forced to live under one roof. This modus vivendi unraveled with Peace of Westphalia in 1648. Based on common ethnicity and religion, nation-states took over from empires.

      In western jurisprudence, nationality laws are based on a] jus soli and b] jus sanguinis, and, in this respect, Israel’s law of return does not differ much from what they practice in Greece, Ireland or Armenia or Italy or what have you.

      Arabs have more than twenty lands to call their own. It is therefore easy to deduce what can be said next.

  18. Even William Hague, the UK’s Foreign Secretary, is critical of the Iranian regime. In a statement to Parliament he said;

    “Turning to Iran, today the International Atomic Energy Agency will deliver its report on military aspects of Iran’s nuclear programme. The report lays out clearly and objectively the evidence that the Agency has uncovered of Iran’s development of nuclear weapons technology. The Board of Governors of the IAEA will convene later this month to consider these grave findings. The assertions of recent years by Iran that their nuclear programme is wholly for peaceful purposes are completely discredited by this report.

    Iran is ramping up its production of uranium enrichment to levels for which it has no plausible civilian use, but which could easily and quickly be converted into weapons-grade material. The uncovering of the recent plot to assassinate the Saudi Ambassador in the United States also shows Iran’s apparent willingness to sponsor terrorism outside its borders.”

    Now which part of the phrase ‘no plausible civilian use’ does Brian Whitaker, or the other apologists for the despicable Iranian regime, fail to understand?

  19. Problem: Iran puts nuclear warheads on Shahab3s. Their individual yield will be a few kilotons. Small potatoes. Suitcase nukes, on the other hand, will pose a greater threat to major urban areas in Israel, in Europe and even in North America.

    There is no credible defense against nuclear terrorism.

    Solution: you gotta kill the Iranian regime now before that snake has any real venom to spit out.

    Not every problem has a solution, but this one does actually.

  20. “Someone (Mitnaged?) once wrote here I think that such antipathy/hatred may be akin to the fix one can get from an addictive drug”

    Snigger – I would agree. Heaven forbid another Cast Lead or a Mavi Marmara but in that event, the below-the-line comments of some are very telling.

    I first noticed a bizarre behavioural expression during Cast Lead when it was initially believed that an IDF shell had hit a school. The most rational question would have been: ‘why are children still going to school in an obvious war zone?’ – but OK – let’s be kind here and say that not all people stop to think before they speak. The most irrational were those whose words and tone implied a type of excitement: it was as if they wanted this news to be true so that it validated their point of view about Israel. They showed no genuine concern for the children and no interest in how this might have come about. As more news of this incident emerged and seen to be in error it was quite clear that facts were irrelevant; they refused to budge from their earlier position. Clearly, then, they were never really that bothered about the children or how any other Palestinian might have been put in harms way. Hamas were forever blameless, of course.

    As the days went by there were clear differences between these ‘excited’ types and those expressing genuine concern. I won’t go into it here or I’ll end up writing a thesis, but in a nutshell, the latter were upset by the casualty figures whilst the former seemed to want them to be as high as they could be. Often hyping them up or inventing incidents that they could not support with evidence. When evidence proving them wrong was offered up by reliable sources, they just stuffed virtual fingers in virtual ears.

    • Very true, Penny, and dubitante’s words, that he can’t be bothered even to mention the human rights abuses of Palestinian children not only in Gaza and the West Bank, but the gross human rights abuses in Africa and in Egypt because his focus is only Israel, seem to bear out what you write.

      By his own admission he hasn’t the time to cover the mass murders by the Syrian government, the deliberate murders of Christians just as the Arab spring is springing in Egypt. He wants there to be bad news about Israel and where there isn’t he’ll go hunting and obsessing or make something up.

      And he has lost sight of any vestige of academic rigour, if indeed he ever had any.

      In short he’s as much of a dead loss as Greg Philo and Ilan Pappe the faux “historian” and I note that the latter teaches at Essex University, and probably moonlights on the Palestinian Studies course.