/ Jimmy's Corner: January 2006

Tuesday, January 31, 2006 

Thoughts regarding the last blog!

To those who say no money for the Palestinians...

Why not being somewhat cunning more than rushing?? It is not a fight in a bar or a disagreement over who chose whom and who should pay. I believe, as long as the Palestinian people chose their representatives freely and in a democratic way they should not be punished for electing the people the world doesn't like. Otherwise the UN, EU, US and donors will fall under the doubt (umm, okay keep it as a doubt for now) of double standards. That's to say, the US and Israel did not deal with Arafat because he was not applying democracy, and now after democracy is applied you are punishing the people for picking what is thought to be a wrong choice???!! I believe this could have a very dangerous impact on the Palestinians. What kinda impact? Read this...
Ramallah - Nearly three-quarters of Palestinians want the newly-elected Hamas movement to drop its call for the destruction of Israel, according to an opinion poll released on Monday.

The survey by the Ramallah-based Near East Consulting institute also found that 84% of those surveyed in the West Bank and Gaza Strip want a peace agreement with Israel while 86% want the moderate Palestinian Authority president Mahmud Abbas to remain in his post.

Rather than indicate backing for Hamas's hard-line tactics, the survey found that a total of 73% of respondents believe Hamas should "change its position on the elimination of the state of Israel".

Not only did an overall 84% support a peace agreement with Israel, but 77% of Hamas voters also wanted a settlement. New24.com

Well these people want peace after they celebrated what they called democratic wedding. If you punish them for choosing the ones they want things might change to the worst. But terrorists should not be funded, right?

Well, just do what it takes to win Hamas into the political stream. Funding is one big card in the hands of donors and Hamas needs it. Moreover, there are more cards to use if we look at the role of the Arab governments and EU. If these cards are used to press on Hamas to meet certain criteria that enables it to start real-world negotiations, they will surly have great effect in the positive way. I say I have noticed there are gradual changes in Hamas' political speech, day after day there is a change if u compare what they used to say before the elections. This is ominous since if Hamas is won into the peaceful political stream, a great bloc of the Palestinian voters who already want peace are won too.

One more thing to add, one of the main reasons Fatah lost the elections was that the Palestinians had in mind the corruption of the Fatah leaders and were asking where the money that is received from donors goes. Thus, the Palestinians expect Hamas to do better, and surly when Hamas gets the money they will be in a situation where u can't envy them...
  1. They have to spend the money for the welfare of the Palestinian wretched people in order to prove that they are not corrupt like their predecessors.
  2. They will have to abide by all their responsibilities towards the world (remember that they will get the money when they fulfill certain criteria).

Sounds like a bargain?


Breaking News & Breaking Comments: Commitment equals funding!

UN chief Kofi Annan has said future aid to the Palestinian Authority will hinge on the government's commitment to peace and recognizing Israel.

Speaking for the Mid-East "Quartet", Mr Annan said any new government must accept previous agreements, including the "roadmap" peace plan.

Aid to the Palestinians has been thrown into doubt by the election victory of Islamic militant group Hamas.

Earlier, Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas urged donors to continue funding. BBC News
This is just high, wide and handsome (quoting Clive Tyldesly "British football commentator"). This is just some pressure on Hamas to take a step into the right way of negotiations and rational down to reality attitude. I believe Hamas people have a great chance now to bring their group from the dark side of the world to the bright one. In other words, I believe if Hamas accepted all previous agreements and reformed its political speech, a great change will occur to the way the Palestinian cause is looked at. To illustrate, if Hamas accepted all previous agreements and reformed its political speech, it would gain international support not only on the economic level but on the political level as well. Thus, they will be leaving Israel with no choice but to show commitment to peacemaking, which might well affect the results of the general Israeli election next March.

Silly question: Am I feeling optimistic about what is to come?
Desperate Answer: No I am not.

Sunday, January 29, 2006 

The Headmaster’s Democracy

Opposition Islamist lawmakers walked out of Egypt's parliament on Saturday to protest at the expulsion of a fellow MP who had criticised the government for letting a French warship through the Suez Canal.
The Muslim Brotherhood said on its Web site that parliament speaker Fathi Sorour had expelled Mustafa Mohamed Mustafa "to deny the Muslim Brotherhood MPs the chance to reveal new scandals of the Egyptian government in the matter of the French ship Clemenceau". Reuters (link from The Muslim Brotherhood Website)
I wish I had watched that on TV, imagine this, the Speaker of the People’s Assembly dismisses one of the MPs because he does not respect the speaker’s orders to “shut up”! I think Mr. Fathi Sorour, the Speaker of the Egyptian People’s Assembly, wanted to remember the old days when he was a teacher then a headmaster and he just thought the MP one of his students whom he dismisses out of classes.

The Muslim Brotherhood MP wanted to discuss the government’s permission given to the French Warship Clemenceau that contains 500 tons of asbestos to pass through the Suez Canal in order to go to India, which is a great threat over the Egyptian environment.
The Muslim Brotherhood's parliamentarian persisted to continue, proclaiming that the government discarded many of the parliament's decisions. The Parliament Chairman, Fathy Soror, threatened to eject him. However, Mustafa said 'the public interest is of priority'. Accordingly, Soror called for a vote to dismiss Mustafa to escape the disclosure of new government scandals in respect of the French ship.

The ruling National Democratic Party's MPs voted for the dismissal. Therefore, the Muslim Brotherhood's legislatives, in a protesting action, resolved to leave the session. (Muslim Brotherhood website)
Meanwhile, The Speaker of the People’s Assembly (who is a National Democratic Party member too) could not deny anything but he said that dismissed the MP because his voice was loud!!!! This is just what I call “headmasters’ democracy in Egypt”.

Silly note: The Speaker of the People’s Assembly Ahmed Fathi Sorour is well known for interrupting MPs when they start saying what he does not like, and counting votes on decisions with his eyes down not even looking to see that no one raised his hand or took it down and everybody is just asleep.


The Grand Imam of Al Azhar says it all!

The Grand Imam of Al Azhar Sheikh Mohamed Said Tantawi says it all about why religion is misunderstood and misinterpreted these days as he comments on the Danish caricatures I was talking about in the previous post. I am quoting Zenobia’s Egyptian Chronicles on the Imam’s comment:
Shekih Said Tantawy made a very offensive statement "The Danish newspaper should not attack a dead man !!"
Ladies and gentlemen the dead man he was referring to is Prophet Mohammed "PBUH", the prophet of Islam.
The occasion was meeting with the Danish ambassador who is trying to save some of the remaining Danish Islamic relations…”
I believe if this shows something it shows how great the wit of the man who is head of the most is important and influential Sunni Muslim Center: Al Azhar. Sheikh Tantawi’s problem with the caricatures is just because they attack “a dead man”.

My questions to Sheikh Tantawi are very simple:
  1. If you call Prophet Muhammed as just “a dead man” (which connotes some disrespect in Arabic especially when it refers to a main religious figure like the Prophet (PBUH)) how can you ask others to respect him?
  2. Is your problem is just they attack a dead man? Not because they give a totally stereotypical wrong image of Prophet Muhammed?
  3. Do you think it is okay to pictorially depict the Prophet?
Well I just want to draw your attention to one fact: in Egypt the Grand Imam of Al Azhar and the Mufti are appointed by the president, not elected. That is why most of those who occupy these two positions are hypocrite to the government or at least “saving their breaths”. Moreover, those who fall short of fulfilling what the government asks of them are simply kicked out days after they are appointed. No wonder Sheikh Tantawi has such a great wit… /sarcasm.


Jyllands-Posten and Danish government: Does it have to be that way?

Jyllands-Posten last September published 12 caricatures of the prophet Mohammed, depicting him as a stereotypical Islamic terrorist.

Ten Muslim ambassadors wrote a joint letter to Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen asking him to take a stance on the issue, which he refused to do.

He said Denmark had a free and independent press and refused to intervene.

But the BBC's Julian Isherwood in Copenhagen says that has not been good enough for the Muslim countries and particularly Saudi Arabia, and there are now fears that the incident could affect Danish businesses.

The Confederation of Danish Industries has now appealed to Jyllands-Posten to print an apology for having commissioned the drawings.

In fact the newspaper has already apologised for, as it has said, wounding the sensitivities of Muslims, but at the same time maintaining its right to print what it likes.

Mr Rasmussen, too, fell just short of an apology in his New Year's speech, speaking of responsibility in exercising freedoms of speech. BBC News
Well the story goes as simple as this, last September Jyllands-Posten (a major Danish newspaper) published a series of caricatures dipecting Prophet Muhammed (PBUH) as a fundamentalist and a terrorist. Such caricatures triggered great anger and shock among Muslims all over the world.Surprisingly, Human Rights organizations took no clear decision about the caricatures (why would they do? The paper did not offend the Jews…). The Arab people are largely conservatives when it comes to religion and ethics. Thus the depiction of the Muslim Prophet Muhammed (PBUH) is largely unaccepted as it simply gives a very dishonest ignorant image of the Prophet. Moreover, a pictorial depiction of Prophet Muhammed is prohibited in Islam. Ten ambassadors of Muslim and Arab countries requested an apology to be published by the newspaper, a request that has been rejected. Even the Danish Prime Minister quietly added that he cannot tell them what to write and what not to.

In reaction to the frustrating Danish reply, a great boycott to all Danish products and businesses has begun in the Middle East. If you do not know, Danish food products are (or may be were) very popular especially in the Gulf area. The boycott caused a great change in the Danish mind-set about the problem that endangered the Danish relationships with Muslim countries. The newspaper apologized, the Danish Prime Minister Mr. Rasmussen asked for “responsibility” when exercising freedom of expression. Moreover, a large food product’s company named Arla posted apologies in all Arab newspapers tried to win the customers back.

Here comes the question: Does it always have to be that way? Why didn’t the Danish government and the newspaper just apologize and put emphasis on responsibility when it comes to freedom of expression (especially when this freedom of expression does others great harm) form the very beginning?

MY PART: Well everybody, can you see how it is effective to use unarmed ways of resistance and opposition?? Imagine with me this: a suicide bomber destroys some Danish building somewhere protesting against the caricatures… can you imagine how different the result could be??

I hope it is just a good omen that MLK’s and Gandhi’s way of resistance and opposition is somewhat alive.


Au revoir, Cote d'Ivoire!...

What a brilliant match that was... The Pharaohs gave the Ivoirian guests a very HOT welcome in Cairo Stadium. It was the last game in the Group A qualifying round in the African Cup of Nations Egypt 2006. The Pharaohs won the game 3-1 and avenging their home and away losses against Cote d'Ivoire in the FIFA World Cup Germany 2006 qualifiers. WE (being an Egyptian :)) started the game playing impressive 20 minutes in which Moteb scored a goal from a good header in a very narrow angel. Then the Elephants controlled the mid-field after Mido (the Tottenham Hotspur striker) came out with a groin injury and substituted by the veteran 40 year old striker Hossam Hassan. However, the Elephants deservedly scored their equalized minutes before the first half is over. In the second half the Egyptians dominated the game very well and Hossam played a superb through ball to Abu Treka who made no mistake shooting it into the net giving Egypt the lead. Minutes later the Pharaohs scored their third goal through Moted who followed Hossam Hassan's ball which should have been in the net. Hassan made great effort and should have scored that goal, but he was just unlucky.
Emad Moteb celebrating his first goal!

Abu Treka celebrating his magnificent goal!

The Egyptian team celebrating Moteb's goal!

You don't know how we cheered after the game that granted Egypt the first place in Group A and qualified us to a much easier game against either Angola or Togo. I wish I had been in the stadium to cherish the victory with friends and all young men that have been there. However, I couldn't stay at home after the match and met my friends and celebrated the match in the streets. What's really funny is that cars kept peeping their horns and waving their hands cheerfully to us as we dance and celebrate. Everybody was smiling, people looked so happy... Something very rare to see. Oh, what a night that was!

Fans excited and anxious after Arouna equalized for Cote d'Ivoire

Egyptian fans ecstatic
To download the goals Click here
Silly question: What does this have to do with politics?
Silly answer: None of your business, I am just so delighted.
" Oh the weather outside is frightful, but the fire is so delightful. Since we've got no place to go, let it snow, let it snow, let it snow" quoting Frank Sinatra's Christmas song. Don't ask me why lol.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006 

Influential Muslim cleric mourned!

Prince Charles and Tony Blair are among leading figures to have paid tribute to one of the UK's most influential Muslim clerics, Zaki Badawi, who has died.

He was principal of the Muslim College in Britain and called for Muslims to engage fully with life in the country.

Mr Blair described him as "a wonderful mix of spirituality and practicality", while the prince said his death was "a blow personally and for the country".

Dr Badawi, 83, collapsed and died after delivering a speech in London.


Dr Badawi was a former imam of Regent's Park Mosque, in London, and forged close ties with Jewish and Christian leaders.

Following his election in 1984, he had served as the chairman of the Council of Mosques and Imams of the United Kingdom.

The Muslim College in Britain was a seminary he founded to train imams and Muslim leaders in the West.

In the aftermath of the 7 July London bombings, Dr Badawi was consulted by the government on how best to tackle extremism.

Prince Charles said in a statement: "His brand of wisdom, scholarship, far-sightedness and above all humour has ensured that Zaki played an extraordinarily important role in the life of this country and amongst the Muslim community.

"His hard-won legacy will, I hope, provide a fitting tribute to a truly remarkable and warm-hearted man."

Dr Badawi's death came on the day of a major gathering of Christians and Muslims at London's Lambeth Palace to mark the launch of the Christian Muslim Forum.

Dr Badawi had agreed to serve as an adviser to the forum and had been due to attend the event on Tuesday evening.

Addressing the gathering, Mr Blair paid tribute to the cleric's "excellent work" which he had carried out during "a lifetime of service".

He said Dr Badawi had been "a special person" and it was poignant he had died on the same day the forum had been launched.

Later, Tory leader David Cameron said: "Zaki Badawi's contribution to the integration of Muslims in British national life will be remembered and his death is a great loss."

'Man of conscience'

Chief Rabbi Sir Jonathan Sacks, who worked on inter-faith initiatives with Dr Badawi, said he was the "face and voice of Islamic dignity and tolerance".

"He was a man of conscience and courage and I cherished his friendship," Sir Jonathan added.

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, described Dr Badawi as a "uniquely effective interpreter of Islam" and paid tribute to Dr Badawi's contribution to Christian-Muslim dialogue.

A statement from the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) said it was "shocked and saddened" by Dr Badawi's death.

"Dr Badawi's passing constitutes a major loss for British Muslims," said Sir Iqbal Sacranie, secretary-general of the MCB.

The editor of The Muslim News, Ahmed Versi, said Dr Badawi's death was a "loss to all communities".

"Dr Badawi was a great scholar of Islam and has made a huge contribution to the Muslim community. His devotion to inter-faith dialogue was unparalleled," Mr Versi said.

From BBC News

My Comment:
This is the impact a true man of religion can make. Compare Dr. Badawi to Khaled el Gendy and you'd know the difference between a man who knows and represents the reality of his religion and a man whose knowledge of true Islam that is equal to my knowledge of the types of rocket fuels. May your soul rest in peace, Dr. Badawi.

If you don't know: Badawi was given an honorary knighthood and in 2003 he was among the guests of Queen Elizabeth II at a state banquet for U.S. President George W. Bush!
Silly remark: Dr. Badawi was denied entry to the U.S. in July 2005 with no explanation given!!! MSNBC
(Sources: BBC News and MSNBC)


Mr. Moderate and Santa Claus!

A young kid around 5 years old called the show and asked Sheikh Khaled a very smart question. "?Sheikh Khaled, is celebrating Christmas Haram (forbidden)?"?. Khaled'?s answer popped out my eye balls.
“You shouldn’t be celebrating Christmas. Instead of receiving gifts from Baba Noel (Santa Claus, Baba Noel literally means Father Noel) you should be receiving gifts from Baba Mohammed (Father Mohammed)” Khaled said. The Big Pharaoh
It was not a shock for me to hear Sheikh Khaled's answers as I never believed in him as a moderate preacher. Sheikh Khaled's answer just sums up how far misunderstanding of religion could reach. I believe that it is not the guy's fault to answer that way. Replying to Big Pharaoh I told him "the mistake is well beyond this mere fact that Khalid does not know Islam well himself. The mistake is there in training, educating and presenting the preachers. They are fed what to say and never told that one big Fiqh (the study of religion) rule is "Ijtehad" (which means reforming the rules according to situations). But miserably, in Islam there is even no rule that says that it is forbidden to celebrate Christmas (this tells u what this size of El Gendy's knowledge). He couldn't use the Ijtehad to understand that tolerance in Islam never makes such a celebration forbidden".

The interviewer himself was shocked with Khaled's answer and smartly replied "you drive a western car, wearing a western watch and a tie". Yet, Sheikh Khaled answered "Islam gave me no fashion magazine". Well, Khaled, Islam didn't tell you not to take presents from Santa Claus because it is not a Muslim celebration. Actually Khaled's answers show a great lack of knowledge and naivety, which seems to be the main characteristic of most of the current preachers, and is a direct result to the state of "misunderstanding and misinterpretation" that seems to be prevailing every now and then.

Two sides I noticed on the comments on the BP blog:
The positive one is that muslims who commented on the post heavily criticized Sheikh Khaled El Gendy and even went to calling him a hypocrate. The negative one is that some Catholics and Jews found Khaled's answers very logical as they just celebrate their feasts but be good to others... I am leaving you to analyse this!


Test for Palestinians and Israelis: A step towards peace!

Mr Olmert told a conference at Herzliya that Israel's withdrawal from the Gaza Strip and part of the West Bank last year was a turning point.

"In order to ensure the existence of a Jewish national home, we will not be able to continue ruling over the territories in which the majority of the Palestinian population lives," acting Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said.

However, Mr Olmert said that Israel would keep security zones, the main settlement blocs, and places important to the Jewish people, such as Jerusalem.

"There can be no Jewish state without Jerusalem under Israeli sovereignty," he said. BBC News
Looks like the next few months are a test for both Palestinians and Israelis asking who is really committed to peacemaking. The Israeli side will have general elections in March 28th. Given the current status quo on the Israeli political arena, the Kadima political party represented by Mr. Olmert is the party that is most committed to reviving peace process and negotiations with the Palestinian side. Thus, any choice taken by Israeli voters on March 28th rather than electing Olmert will arise doubts about the Israeli true commitment to peacemaking.

On the Palestinian side, it is clearly evident that there is a very powerful trend towards peacemaking in Israel. Consequently, the Palestinians should show true commitment to peace (specially Hamas and Jihad), such commitment should appear in the way the Palestinian requests are negotiated and showing some political skill on the international level. To be honest, the Palestinian political arena seems like a mess to me, so Palestinians should give up any minor internal disagreements and focus on how to benefit well from the current trend towards peace.

Sometimes it appears to me there are powers on both sides that would lose much if peace prevails. Such powers are what I call extremists on both sides, like those to which belongs Rapin's assasinator on the Israeli side, and those who have strong belief in aggressive attitudes on the Palestinian side. However, true commitment to peacemaking should not be judged by the ability of both sides to stop such powers, as it is almost impossible to hold all the cards in one hand. Yet, both hands can be used... That's why it is a very tough test for both sides.


As for Olmert's statements about Jerusalem under Israeli authority, some would say Jerusalem is a mandatory request for Palestinians and so negotiations would fail. I would comment: peace is not around the corner.

To my point of view, both sides will fail the test. Mr. Olmert made it clear that Israel is withdrawing from areas in cannot defend. This means Israel is trying to achieve peace from its own prespectives, which also means the Israeli officials will negotiate with the Palestinians with the mind-set "we are going to give what we want to give". Consquently, I believe the Palestinians will barely have their least important requests answered.

On the public level, Sharon's withdrawal from Gaza intiated massive attacks on his new policy. Such attacks reveal how the extremist fanatics in Israel will act if Olmert is to withdraw furthur. Therefore, I believe Olmert will not win Sharon's chair as opposers to his policy will vote to the Likud Party representative.

On the Palestinian side, if elections go fair Hamas will soon have place in the government. And if the scenario goes in Israel the way I said earlier, Hamas will grow hard-headed in return. Thus, having the right-wings ruling on both sides... Can't imagine what would come out of it.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006 

Pretty smart questions!

In a very great debate I participated it lately I was asked a number of very smart questions regarding the Arab-Israeli conflict. The questions are meant show that Israel is taking a more tolerant attitude towards Arabs while Arabs are taking a less tolerant one. I thought I should submit the questions and how I answered them on my blog. Just read the questions and the answers and you might have an idea or a thought about them, participate and add your comments.

How many Arabs in the Knesset and the Israeli Supreme Court?
and how many Jews in any Arab government?

There are ten Israeli Arabs sitting as members of the 16th Knesset (there are a total of 120 seats), and there is currently an Arab judge (Justice Salim Jubran) sitting in the Israeli Supreme Court. (source Wikipedia).
Does this mean that Israel is really taking a more tolerant democratic attitude towards the Israeli Arabs? Well, from the same source I thought I should add this:


According to the 2004 U.S. State Department Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for Israel and the occupied territories, the Israeli government "did little to reduce institutional, legal, and societal discrimination against the country's Arab citizens."[15]

Examples of what the State Department report found include the following:

* According to the report, Muslims enjoy full freedom of religion and government "did not affect the rights of Muslims to practice their faith" according to "Legislation enacted in 1961 afforded the Muslim courts exclusive jurisdiction to rule in matters of personal status concerning Muslims. Secular courts have primacy over questions of inheritance, but parties, by mutual agreement, may bring cases to religious courts. Muslims, since 2001, also have the right to bring matters such as alimony and property division associated with divorce cases to civil courts in family-status matters."

* "According to a 2003 Haifa University study, a tendency existed to impose heavier prison terms to Arab citizens than to Jewish citizens. Human rights advocates claimed that Arab citizens were more likely to be convicted of murder and to have been denied bail."

* "government spending on children was proportionally lower in predominantly Arab areas than in Jewish areas. ... According to the Government's February 2002 report to the U.N., government investment per Arab pupil was approximately 60 percent of investment per Jewish pupil. ... According to Human Rights Watch, during the year, the Government provided 1 teacher for every 16 Jewish primary school children compared to 1 teacher for every 19.7 Arab children."

* "The Orr Commission of Inquiry's report ... stated that the 'Government handling of the Arab sector has been primarily neglectful and discriminatory,' that the Government 'did not show sufficient sensitivity to the needs of the Arab population, and did not take enough action to allocate state resources in an equal manner.' As a result, 'serious distress prevailed in the Arab sector in various areas. Evidence of distress included poverty, unemployment, a shortage of land, serious problems in the education system, and substantially defective infrastructure.'"

* "In November, the Israeli-Arab advocacy NGO Sikkuy's annual report stated that 45 percent of Arab families were poor, in contrast to 15 percent of Jewish families, and that the rate of infant mortality in the Arab sector was 8 out of 1,000 births--twice that of the Jewish population."

* "According to a report by Mossawa, racist violence against Arab citizens has increased, and the Government has not done enough to prevent this problem. The annual report cited 17 acts of violence by Jewish citizens against Arab citizens. ... A Haifa University poll released in June revealed that over 63 percent of Jews believed that the Government should encourage Israeli Arabs to emigrate."

* "Approximately 93 percent of land in the country was public domain, including that owned by the state and some 12.5 percent owned by the Jewish National Fund (JNF). All public land by law may only be leased, not sold. The JNF's statutes prohibit the sale or lease of land to non-Jews. In October, civil rights groups petitioned the High Court of Justice claiming that a bid announcement by the Israel Land Administration (ILA) involving JNF land was discriminatory in that it banned Arabs from bidding."

* "Israeli-Arab advocacy organizations have challenged the Government's policy of demolishing illegal buildings in the Arab sector, and claimed that the Government was more restrictive in issuing building permits in Arab communities than in Jewish communities, thereby not accommodating natural growth. In February, security forces demolished several homes allegedly built without authorization in the Arab village of Beineh."

* "In June, the Supreme Court ruled that omitting Arab towns from specific government social and economic plans is discriminatory. This judgment builds on previous assessments of disadvantages suffered by Arab Israelis."

* "Israeli-Arab organizations have challenged as discriminatory the 1996 "Master Plan for the Northern Areas of Israel," which listed as priority goals increasing the Galilee's Jewish population and blocking the territorial contiguity of Arab towns."

* "Israeli Arabs were underrepresented in the student bodies and faculties of most universities and in higher professional and business ranks. The Bureau of Statistics noted that the median number of school years for the Jewish population is 3 years more than for the Arab population. Well educated Arabs often were unable to find jobs commensurate with their level of education. According to Sikkuy, Arab citizens held approximately 60 to 70 of the country's 5,000 university faculty positions."

* "Israeli Arabs were not required to perform mandatory military service and, in practice, only a small percentage of Israeli Arabs served in the military. Those who did not serve in the army had less access than other citizens to social and economic benefits for which military service was a prerequisite or an advantage, such as housing, new-household subsidies, and employment, especially government or security-related industrial employment. Regarding the latter, for security reasons, Israeli Arabs generally were restricted from working in companies with defense contracts or in security-related fields. In December, the Ivri Committee on National Service issued official recommendations to the Government that Israel Arabs not be compelled to perform national or "civic" service, but be afforded an opportunity to perform such service". (source Wikipedia)
As for how many Jews in any Arab government, there sounds to be a missing fact that early Israeli government worked on inviting and importing all Easter Jews to come to Israel to make the Israeli population of the new born country go bigger quickly. Consequently, after the establishment of Israel most of the Arab Jews imigrated to Israel, considering themselves Israelis and even working for the Musad. Read about the story of Jews migrating to Israel and you would know why there are no Jew members in Arab governments, simply because there are no Jews. Most of them migrated to Israel and are Israelis... Should Arab goverments (who are already corrupt enough) call Israelis of eastern origins to come have positions in countries they don't live in? Its like calling Bin Laden to have position in the Congress.

Same story with Palestinian Jews. After the establishment of Israel they were considered and considerd themselves as Israelis. Look at Wikipedia your own source of info.

Since the creation of Israel, this encompassing of native Palestinian Jews has practically ceased among Israelis, as native Palestinian Jews are now simply identified - and most identify themselves - as "Israelis"... (source Wikipedia)
That was the way I answered... what about you?

Thursday, January 19, 2006 

The Iran Dilemma: Reality and Fiction!

It's been so long since I last posted a blog despite the fact that there has been so much fuss all over the world lately that is worthy of talking about and commenting on. But I believe there is only one thing I have been thinking of for long long time before I start writing this blog, it is the Iran dilemma. During the last few days I have been searching Irani and American blogs, reading their reactions to what's going on now on the international arena. Then I reached a conclusion that I decided to write about and hope somebody would discuss it with me.

The Story
The story begins in the 70th of the last century when the Irani Islamic Revolution dethroned the whole Shah regime, which was a strong ally to USA, and sent him into exile. Shortly after the Shah was kicked out of Iran and Islamists started ruling the country, the US policy towards Iran has gone in one way: Iran is a threat. Therefore, Uncle Sam decided to have a new ally who is Saddam and even arm him with chemical weapons to destroy the strong Islamist regime in Iran during the Iran-Iraq war in the 1980th. Such a trend in the White House has been very clear for Tehran, and it has been evident that the USA is going to take any decision that is against Iran, be it in the Security Council or on the international diplomatic level.

Okay, stop here and lets look and the situation now in brief. Iran wants nuclear power allegedly for peaceful use only. At the same time, USA suspect the Irani intentions as Iran is growing stronger and stronger as a military power. Russia guarantees to USA that Iran is going to use nuclear technology for generating electricity. Yet, USA doesn't take the Russian guarantee seriously.
Looking back in time to Khatami, the ex-President of Iran, he is a Reformist who could rule for two sessions in a row. He has been taking it easy with USA and EU regarding the nuclear power problem and he has been flexible with the IAEA and accepted the Irani nuclear station to be sealed by the UN. However, when Mahmoud Ahmedinejad *the new elected president* took over, a new trend and policy in Tehran started to emerge which represents the conservative trend Ahmedinejad believes in. And from the very first day Ahmedinejad had started his presidential duties, he was portrayed as the Middle East's new tyrant. Specially after his *attack* on the Holocaust. The question now is: what would be wrong if Iran owns nuclear peaceful technology? Can Iran attack the USA with nukes, if it possessed them? What is the main reason Washignton is opposing Iran all the time? Here starts reality and fiction.

Let me introduce the new tyrant...

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, also written Ahmadinezhad, (Persian: محمود احمد?‌نژاد ; born October 28, 1956), is the sixth president of the Islamic Republic of Iran. His term began August 3, 2005.

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was born in Garmsar, the fourth of seven children born to an ironworker. Ahmadinejad and his family migrated to Tehran when he was one year old. In 1975, he ranked 130th in the nationwide university entrance exams. He then got his diploma and was admitted to the Iran University of Science and Technology in the field of civil engineering. He was accepted as an MS student at the same university in 1984 and got his doctorate in 1987 in the field of engineering and traffic transportation planning while he was the governor ofArdabil province.

Ahmadinejad was the mayor of Tehran from May 3, 2003 until June 28, 2005 when he was elected president. He is widely considered to be a religious conservative with Islamist and populist views. Ahmadinejad was a civil engineer and an assistant professor at the Iran University of Science and Technology before his mayorship. Politically, Ahmadinejad is a member of the Central Council of the Islamic Society of Engineers,[1] but he has a more powerful base inside the Alliance of Builders of Islamic Iran (Abadgaran). Ahmadinejad is considered one of the main figures in the alliance.

Ahmedinejad's Assets: (from Inside Iran blog)
  • A 40-year-old house of 127 sq.m. situated on a 175 sq.m. lot in Tehran's Narmak area
  • A current bank account containing his salary as a university professor
  • An empty bank account for the time he served as governor general of Ardebil
  • A 1977 Peugeot-504 automobile
  • Two fixed telephone lines.
President Ahmadinejad, in an unprecedented move, has turned over his list to both the media and the judiciary, in hopes of promoting economic transparency among government officials. More...

Can this be the 2006 new fashion tyrants??

Attack on Holocaust
Ahmedinejad became a tyrant after was interpreted as attacking the Holocaust and asking whether it was real or not. Soon after a massive attack on Ahmedinejad and his policy spread all over the world. (This brings to my mind when a major Danish newspaper attacked Islam and insulted the Muslim Prophet, no one moved an inch and when Muslims protested the answer was "it is the freedom of expression". Same with programs in the US media that I will soon be introducing their names and topics in which there is insult to Islam and Muslims, no one attacks them. And when Ahmedinejad questioned the Holocaust, he was massively criticised... can you say why?) Then Ahmedinejad in a recent public address he asserted that his questions about the Holocaust were misinterpreted.

What has become overblown and inaccurately reported in the international media is mere rhetoric. I had posed two questions to the international arena. The first one wondered where the history of these migrants, or Israelis, can be found? Where did their forefathers come from, and what gives these migrants the authority to make decisions regarding the nation of Palestine? Why don't Palestinians, who have thousands of years of history on their land, and who are comprised of Christians, Muslims, and Jews, have any decision-making power at all?

The second question addresses the Holocaust. Read more...(Full reply)
Role of Media
Okay, to make it simple, my point here is that there are obviously *intended* misinterpretations of Ahmedinejad's statments and addresses which play a role in viewing Ahmedinejad as a tyrant who would destroy the world if he possessed nukes. Thus, preparing the golbal public opinion for a strike on Iran that is trying to develop nuclear technologies. This just reminds me of the period before the war on Iraq when Bush LIED to the world saying that Iraq is a threat on the USA as it OWNS WMDs. But after Iraq was destroyed by war we found out that Iraqis barely had the ancient Kalashnikov rifles.

Some would ask for an evidence that the US media is misinterpreting the Irani President's speeches... well I have it thanks to Shiva's Inside Iran. The CNN has been banned from Iran for violating professional ethics. The CNN journalist has mistranslated Ahmedinejad's recent address to give a totally different meaning. The president said in Farsi "Every country has the right to peaceful nuclear technology", but the CNN journalist quoted the president saying "Every country has the right to nuclear weapons.". Being a student of translation myself, I believe such a mistake can never happen by accident specially when you are translating and working for an agency that is huge and professional as CNN. For me it is just a continuation of the misinterpretations of Ahmedinejad's questions about the Palestinian cause and the Holocaust. And this, of course, asserts the correctness of my theory that USA and its *allies* are working on preparing the international public opinion for a strike on the new Irani (tyrant) who is willing to possess nuclear weapons (rather than peaceful nuclear technologies). More on CNN ban...

Reality of the situation and (Double standards)
Well, the reality looks so simple for me (as I am not influenced by the western media and living in the heart of everything). The White House assures that they want a Middle East that is clear of nukes. Such intentions look very legitimate and logical since the Middle East has conflicts that may exceed the number of its population. However, with a zoom-in we will find out that Israel, the country which is the cause of all Middle East conflicts, owns nuclear weapons. Meanwhile, the USA never brings up any talks about such a fact which would put its most important ally in the Middle East in hot spot. Therefore, if Iran should never own nuclear technology because the Middle East should be clear of nukes, Israel should destroy its nukes as well. Something that will never happen... and that what I call double standards...

The second most important fact is that Iran, logically and geographically, can never strike the USA. First, logically, Iran would never strike the US lands because such a mistake will surly bring about the end of the whole nation of Iranis alive. Additionally, Iran just wants peaceful nuclear technology that is provided by Russia, which means if Iran is to develop and produce nuclear weapons, Russia will be the first to know even before developments start. Second, geographically, Iran is too far away from the States to strike it with nukes as the Irani technology cannot develop any of the Shehab rockets that can travel all the way to the US west coast. Such developments cannot take place without the help of a major power, which is Russia. Thus, we are led to the same conclusion, Iran can hide nothing if they are to produce nukes or even the rockets that travel to the nearest US land which is the US west coast.

My conclusion
Washington knows very well that Iran has great influence on the Iraqi Shitta Muslims, who are the majority in Iraq. Such influence would affect the Iraqis' choice for a new president when democracy is settelled in Iraq. And it could be a matter of time when the USA finds an Islamist supported by Iran taking control, by election, in Iraq. Consequently, the American control over the Iraqi oil will be be affected and the US will lose a very important strategic position in the Middle East to Tehran, thus, they will be having two Tehrans rather than one. At the same time, Iran seems to be a threat on Israel to the White House. As the more powerful Iran grows, the stronger it is in the Middle East, which is the most armed country in the Middle East. Again I believe Iran cannot hit Israeli targets with WMD (weapons of mass destruction) simply because Israel is just one part of a whole Arab area. To me such a strike on Israel is impossible.

So why America is planning to attack Iran? I will put that in points.
If America attacks Iran, what will happen?
  1. The possible Irani influence on any future elected government in Iraq will vanish.
  2. The scale of power in the Middle East will stay in the Israeli hands.
  3. The White House will be able to have a government that is an ally in Tehran. (Look at the Afghan example)
  4. The USA will put its hands on another major oil supply.
  5. The White House will be able to uproot that Russian influence in Tehran, and thus, completing the three magic sticks (Afghanistan, Iraq and Iran).
Here ends another big episode of the game. But, can such a scenario take place? Can the US amry turn Iran to a new Iraq?.... Time will answer our questions.

(Share your thoughts and opinions)

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Monday, January 09, 2006 

The Khaddam War

A war that has gone wild over the satellite channels is that one involving dissenter Khaddam and numb Assad. Khaddam first appears on Al Arabiya news channel and implicates Bashar el-Assad in the murder of Rafik Hariri. The murder that could be the first nail in the Syrian regime's coffin. Then Bashar's MPs declare Khaddam a traitor and urge the government to charge him with high treason. Khaddam answers on French 3 TV channel accusing Bashar of being THE traitor and urges the Syrian people to revolt. The war is going wilder and wilder... but I have some silly questions that are killing me for an answer:
  1. According to Khaddam, he knew all about Bashar threatening Hariri long time ago, and he could tell his story just after Hariri's murder... so why keeping the secret till now?
  2. Bashar's MPs accused Khaddam of being a traitor and a thief as he was "talking about how poor and miserable the Syrians are from his lavish luxurious palace in Paris." Does this mean the MPs admit that the Syrians are poor and miserable in the hands of the wisest Bashar?
    And Khaddam is a thief whose lavish palace in Paris... wasn't he the Vice President to Bashar?
  3. Khaddam urges the Syrians to revolt... well, had he been in power till now, would he have had the same trend he has now?
  4. Khaddam says he is working for the sake of Syria... what about the days you spent in the company of Bashar as his deputy?
That was interesting...


Happy Eid and Merry Christmas

Happy Eid and Merry Christmas for muslims and christians Egyptians. Let's wish we celebrate our Eid and Christmas the next year with all happiness.... and freedom.

Saturday, January 07, 2006 

Jordan democracy (no comment)

A Jordanian association concerned with human rights in Jordan announced in a report last Thursday that one third of the total number of prisoners in Jordan's jails are imprisoned without any official accusations or trials. In 1953 a law was issued in Jordan that gives the police enough authority to arrest anyone for at least 24 hours without charges. This law is now the reason why 2882 prisoners are kept in jails without any official charges. Addtionally, in 2004 there was another report by the National Human Rights Center in Jordan that announced that most of Jordanian prisoners are subjected to torturing. It also announced that an Islamist was beaten to death by warders in jail.

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Indeed, that was skillful!

Syria rejects the UN request to interview Bashar al-Assad regarding the murder of Rafik Hariri. Filbalad.com (arabic only)
The title to this blog may sound a bit ironic or sarcastic. Yet, it is not intended to mean something more than the meaning on the surface. Bashar behaved skillfully by rejecting the UN request to interview him about the murder of Rafik Hariri. Yeah, he skillfully escaped a confrontation that could break his ego. However, he never gives up being so stupidly funny as the rejection was justified claiming: "such a request intrudes the Syrian mastery". It is just the same as saying "do you think I am dumb enough to tell you that I killed him". Well, that was a skillful temporary escape (the rejection not the justification), but is it really the right and most suitable answer?


The man of peace who can't survive peace!

According to Mr. Bush aka The Man of War* Ariel Sharon is a man of piece... oops sorry I mean peace. Ariel Sharon who previously planned and carried out the massacre of Sabra and Shatila in which thousands of Palestinians were slaughtered. Moreover, his visit to Al-Masjed Al Aksa (The Far Mosque in Jerusalem) was the spark that blew out the Second Intefada. Yet, still he is a man of peace to Bush.

During the past few months Sharon took a more seemingly peaceful attitude towards Palestinians. Although I think such a peaceful attitude was a means to an end which is to make specific political profits, such a peaceful attitude is still to some extent a great political profit to the Palestinians. Ironically, Sharon couldn't survive this peaceful attitude he was planning to adopt and is now almost dead after a second stroke in a Tel Aviv hospital. I won't say more!

Oh no I have to add something more, Bush aka Man of War is praying for his ally Sharon aka Man of Peace... Duh, they are really the perfect allies, aren't they?

*Mr. Bush admitted he is a man of war, who takes any decision with war in his mind, in an interview that appeared in Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11.


Palestinian gunmen: "Kill your allies to protest against enemies"!

I have never been so disappointed, so confused or so furious when I read about those idiots shooting Egyptian soldiers at the Egyptian/Palestinian borders. The RESISTANCE gunmen (I wonder whom they are really resisting?) are calling for the release of a kidnapper by attacking the borders of their allies. Is it a new strategy for imposing one's will over enemies? Attacking one's own allies?? I don't give a damn to what they think, and yeah I would furiously ask these morons to be brought to trial. These soldiers who lost their lives, and those who were injured, had no guilt but protecting their home country's borders that never thought of the values of their lives. And let me tell you the scenario of what's going to happen in the coming few days:
  1. Mr. I don't know who from the Palestinian Authority comes out to condemn the accident.
  2. Mr. I don't care who from the same side comes out to apologize about the *sad* incident.
  3. Mr. Who cares comes out to show anger about the incidents.
  4. Mr. Big Boss accepts the apology.
  5. Mothers weep, wives cry, the killing of the soldier's gone with the wind.
This is the same scenario that is repeated in similar situations. And finally the most popular universal rule prevails "How precious the bliss 'to-forget' is!"

Wednesday, January 04, 2006 

If you don't answer my request, I will kill myself!

Egyptian police have fired into the air to warn Palestinian gunmen who seized bulldozers and demolished part of the border fence between Gaza and Egypt. BBC News

Earlier, around 40 gunmen occupied a number of local government buildings in Rafah, including the office of the Palestinian Central Election Commission. BBC News

Believe me, guys, these people are extremely funny or terribly dumb. Their leader abducts a Briton aid worker and her family for the sake of some petty demands that are never worth of a human being's life. Specially when this human being is someone who believes in the right of the Palestinians and brough a family to Palestine to see "the positive side of the Palestinians". Then the gunmen demand the release of their leader by attacking, bulldozing and opening a hole through the borders with Egypt. I am really confused. What is the point relating attacking the Egyptian borders and asking for the release of their leader. Is it the Egyptian Authority that has arrested their leader? And for God's sake what is the use of holding back the elections in Gaza??

Questions that can only be answered by the gunmen themselves... or something that is either too dumb or too funny.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006 

Load... Aim.... PEE! (damn true story)

Last night I was sitting with my friends in a cafe having some hot drinks as it was badly cold. We were having some random talks, cracking jokes bla bla bla. Then one of our friends saw a friend of his whom we didn't know and went to greet him. Then the two guys came and joined us on the table. I didn't know why I didn't like the way that guy behaved. Then our friend started introducing us to his friend who was an officer. Then we resumed our talks and the officer started telling us about himself in a way that makes anyone feel like 'that guy surly comes from a different planet'. He was so enthusiastic telling us how he treated suspects and how he is so smart and tough. Then he told us a story.

"Just a few weeks ago some suspect disrespected me, something no officer would tolerate (he didn't say why and how did the suspect disrespect him). So I decided to teach him a lesson. I gave my orders to some police soldiers in my department to take that guy to the 'Welcome Room'. In no time the suspect was in the welcome room with his back uncovered and then I started to whip the shit out of him. Nevertheless, the suspect was soo stupid to disrespect me once more. This time I sent him to a women's cell in the building to make a joke out of him. But when he came out he said 'You think what you did disrespects me or breaks my dignity?'. That time I decided to apply a new rule to tell him how to break someone's dignity. Ordering the soldiers to lay him on the ground, I started peeing on his face, that time he couldn't say a word" He told us with a big smile on his face.

Then there was silence for a moment, we were trying to convince ourselves that this guy is lying. Yet, I broke the silence trying to know whether he has been punished for that or not.
"You should thank God no one knew about that, you could have been punished, couldn't you?"
The guy laughed and answered "My bosses knew and they punished me"
"What did they do to you?" I asked eagerly
"They transferred me to a different department".

************TRUE STORY*************

Monday, January 02, 2006 

Time to show some skill!

"A UN panel investigating the killing of ex-Lebanese PM Rafik Hariri wants to meet Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and Foreign Minister Farouq Shara." BBC News
Looks like it is starting to be tough on Bashar these days as it looks like the UN panel is not going to let go Khaddam's statements on Al- Arabeya TV so easily. I believe the echo of Khaddam's words (implicating a major role for al Assad in assassinating Rafik Hariri) will be repeating itself in the ears of all those involved in the killing of the ex-Lebanese Prime Minister for long time. I believe it is high time for Bashar to show some real political skills because they will be more effective and helpful than these heated speeches that vanish as soon as given.

Key UN findings about the political murder of Mr. Hariri:
  • Assassins had considerable resources and capabilities.
  • Evidence suggests both Syria and Lebanon were involved.
  • Crime was prepared over several months.
  • Hariri's movements and itineraries were monitored.
  • Highly unlikely Syrian or Lebanese intelligence were not aware of assassination plot.

Sunday, January 01, 2006 

Happy New Year 2006

Happy New Year 2006 to you all, and may the worst of 2006 be the best of 2005. Let's pray that this new year would witness the end of tyranny, injustice and terrorism. May the year 2006 be the best in our lifetime and may all our true faithful wishes become true!

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  • From Cairo, Egypt
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