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  1. #481
    Senior Member Flixy's Avatar
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    I knew they had all kind of crazy rules, but I didn't know being in a picture with an Israeli would be actually illegal. So it's news to me.
    Keep on keepin' the beat alive!

  2. #482
    I'm surprised this hasn't come up...

    In Paris’s Muslim Suburbs, Some Blame Jews for Charlie

    In France, the projects don’t look like ghettoes, but they’re filled with a poisonous mix of conspiracy theories and a some support for murderous jihadis.

    SEVRAN, France — As more than 1.5 million people, including 40 world leaders, converged on Paris on Sunday to rally for unity after terrorist attacks that left 17 innocent people dead, three young men in tracksuits and hoodies lounged outside a fast-food restaurant 10 miles north of the city in Sevran, one of France’s poorest suburbs.

    Mehdi Boular, 24, who said he was married with two children, and two of his friends, did not attend Sunday’s rally.

    “We’re Muslims,” Boular said. “They might have killed us if we’d gone.”

    But even though the flags of Algeria, Morocco, and Tunisia were flying at the rally in Place de la République and Muslims were well represented among the marchers Sunday, Boular said the attacks in Paris were part of a plot masterminded by Jewish conspirators.

    “The Kalashnikovs, the identity cards the [killers] supposedly left behind, it was all staged,” said Boular, as his friends nodded in agreement. “It was a conspiracy designed by the Jews to make Muslims look bad. We’d rather just stay where we are.”

    No use arguing. No use pointing out that one of the terrorists murdered four Jews. Conspiracy theories have their own unassailable logic, and this is a world apart from the displays of unity in Paris after the carnage of last week. French newspapers reported that some students in these neighborhoods—as well as other heavily Muslim areas near cities like Lille—refused to participate in Thursday’s national moment of silence for the victims of the terror attacks. One teacher said up to 80 percent of his students didn’t want to observe the silence, and some said they supported the attackers. “You reap what you sow,” a student who refused the moment of silence told his teacher in reference to the terrorists’ victims, according to Le Figaro.

    Sevran is one of the many notorious banlieues just outside Paris that are home largely to second- and third-generation immigrants from former French colonies in North and West Africa. The town is studded with cement and brick public housing, mostly built in the 1960s and ’70s. Unemployment rates are as high as 35 to 40 percent. Sevran often is lumped in with places like Saint-Denis and nearby Clichy-sous-Bois, the epicenter of weeks of rioting and car burning in 2005. Riots here back in the summer of 1981 led to some of the first mass demonstrations to illustrate the plight of immigrant Algerians, Tunisians, and Moroccans in France.

    The 19th arrondissement in Paris has also become synonymous with immigrant frustration and despair after it became known that the Kouachi brothers, Chérif and Saďd, who died in a hail of gunfire last week after killing 12 people, including eight journalists at the Charlie Hebdo satirical magazine, moved there as teenagers and were recruited by a jihadi network. Born in France, the Kouachis were the orphaned sons of Algerian parents.

    The popular narrative is that France’s minority populations, specifically those of North African descent, are marginalized and isolated in what are invariably called “gritty,” or “hardscrabble” areas. Shunned by the French majority, reports often say, the children of North African immigrants are frustrated and resentful because they are blocked from traditional routes of advancement.

    But many of the Parisian banlieues appear to an outsider much tamer than gun-ridden American ghettoes and bear no resemblance to, say, a typical favela in Rio de Janeiro or the mafia-run Scampia ghetto in Naples. Much of the 19th arrondissement in Paris, where Cherif Kouachi joined the Buttes-Chaumont terror network 10 years ago, looks about as rundown and sketchy today as Brooklyn’s Park Slope.

    Indeed at the McDonalds in Sevran, called one of the most dangerous towns in France, the floor is so clean you can almost eat off it and the server actually brings your hamburger and French fries to you in a pristine booth.

    “A lot of what you hear about how bad it is here is just not true,” says Pathe Ndiay, 29, whose parents are Senegalese but who was born in France. Ndiay works as a security guard in Sevran and lives nearby. “There’s a lot of unemployment here but not that many young people are out looking for jobs.”

    Ndiay said many young men in the banlieues prefer the easy money they can get selling drugs rather than seeking what is likely to be boring, poorly paid employment in Paris.

    “They don’t want to be bothered with getting a job,” Ndiay said. “Some can make up to €1,000 to €2,000 a day selling drugs. They want to be rappers. They don’t want to start at some boring job and work their way up the ladder.”

    When Boular and his friends were asked if they were looking for work, they said yes. “We try every day,” said one of his friends, who did not want to give his name, but then he started laughing and his friends joined in. They stand in front of McDonalds in Sevran, Boular said, pretty much all day and well into the middle of the night. Boular said he runs home “every now and then” to see his wife and children.

    Boular said he recently was released from prison after a two-year sentence for involvement with a car theft. He says he was beaten by guards frequently because he was an Arab. Boular said he and his friends are “blocked” from advancing in French society because they are Arabs and added that his only dream is to “go to Miami and be a rapper and drive a jet-ski.”

    A cross-section of young men interviewed in several suburbs last week, including Sevran, Saint-Denis, and Paris’s 19th arrondissement, all spoke of being devout Muslims. None said they supported the Kouachi brothers or their associate Ahmed Coulibaly, who killed four hostages at a kosher supermarket in Paris on Friday, although they all believed the cartoonists at the Charlie Hebdo satirical magazine did not have the right to caricature the prophet Muhammad.

    Many spoke out against Israel and Jews as well as the United States but did not seem to have much of a grasp of geopolitics nor did they appear to be very religious in the traditional sense of the word.

    Another young man of French-Algerian descent interviewed outside a gas station in the Saint-Denis suburb reacted angrily to a reporter’s presence and demanded to know her religion. “The worst thing is to be atheist,” he said.

    The man, who gave his named as “Mohamed,” also said he was a devout Muslim but then changed his demeanor and added, grinning, that he was also “a delinquent.” Then he said he was a drug dealer and without prompting, invited the reporter into the (also very clean) gas station to show an array of hashish for sale in broad daylight on a shelf next to the ATM.

    He also called the Paris terrorist attacks “un complot,” or conspiracy, and launched into a lengthy explanation of the “magical Jews” behind it. They were not ordinary Jews, he said, but a “hybrid race of shape shifters” who have extraordinary abilities. “They know how to get in everywhere,” he said. “They are master manipulators.”

    Mouhanad Khorchide, a professor of Islamic pedagogy at the University of Munster in Germany told The New York Times last week that while he sees many young Muslims identifying more strongly with their religion he considers it a “hollow religiosity.”

    “They would say, ‘Islam is really important for me,’ but they had just dealt drugs,” Khorchide said. “They had a Quran in their backpack and said, ‘With the Quran, I am strong.’ But if you asked if they had read it or knew what it contained, they said no.’”

    A French-Algerian named Bentaha Tahar, 30, and his friend who gave his name as Alouane, 31, stood outside Danny Hills restaurant in the 19th arrondissement, right across from the Buttes Chaumont park where Cherif Kouachi received early jihadi training from a charismatic janitor from the nearby Addawa mosque. Mothers pushing babies in expensive strollers and joggers of all ages filled the large, green quite beautiful park.

    “The Kouachis insulted Islam,” Tahar said. “They had no right to do what they did. It is against our religion. People need to understand that.”

    At the same time, the two grew very heated when they spoke of the resentment they said many French Algerians feel about the United States “and the powers behind it.”

    “The Americans are very naďve,” Alouane said. “They get all caught up in a story like this but they don’t see what their own government is doing every day, every week, every year. What right do they have to go out and start wars? The answer is they have no right. They’re out to grab money and power and they always have been.”

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/article...ris-burbs.html

  3. #483
    Quote Originally Posted by Dreadnaught View Post
    I'm surprised this hasn't come up...
    Of course it has. What point are you trying to make?

  4. #484
    Senior Member Flixy's Avatar
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    Keep on keepin' the beat alive!

  5. #485


    William Schabas, Canadian leading Gaza-Israel UN probe, resigning

    Israeli allegations of bias lead William Schabas to step down
    Thomson Reuters Posted: Feb 02, 2015 7:58 PM ET Last Updated: Feb 03, 2015 4:06 AM ET

    The head of a UN inquiry into last summer's conflict between Israel and Gaza said on Monday he would resign after Israeli allegations of bias due to consultancy work he did for the Palestine Liberation Organization.

    Canadian academic William Schabas was appointed last August by the head of the United Nations Human Rights Council to lead a three-member group looking into alleged war crimes during Israel's military offensive in Gaza.

    In a letter to the commission, a copy of which was seen by Reuters, Schabas said he would step down immediately to prevent the issue from overshadowing the preparation of the report and its findings, which are due to be published in March.

    Schabas's departure highlights the sensitivity of the UN investigation just weeks after prosecutors at the International Criminal Court in The Hague said they had started a preliminary inquiry into alleged atrocities in the Palestinian territories.

    In the letter, Schabas said a legal opinion he wrote for the Palestine Liberation Organization in 2012, for which he was paid $1,300, was not different from advice he had given to many other governments and organizations.

    "My views on Israel and Palestine as well as on many other issues were well known and very public," he wrote. "This work in defence of human rights appears to have made me a huge target for malicious attacks ..."

    Netanyahu renews calls to scrap inquiry

    The resignation prompted Israel's prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu early Tuesday to renew his calls to disband the inquiry.

    "This is the same body that only in 2014 passed more resolutions against Israel than against Iran, Syria and North Korea combined," said Netanyahu. "Hamas, other terrorist organizations and the terror regimes around us are the ones who need to be investigated, and not Israel."

    Israel had long criticized Schabas's appointment, citing his record as a strong critic of the Jewish state and its current political leadership. Schabas said his work for the PLO had prompted the Human Rights Council's executive on Monday to seek legal advice from UN headquarters about his position.

    "I believe that it is difficult for the work to continue while a procedure is underway to consider whether the chair of the commission should be removed," he wrote.

    The commission had largely finished gathering evidence and had begun writing the report, he added.

    The commission is looking into the behaviour of both the Israelis and of Hamas, the Islamist movement that controls Gaza and calls for the destruction of Israel.

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/william...ning-1.2942569

  6. #486
    Hmm. On the one hand, these inquiries by the UN are always absurdly one-sided and result in laughable 'reports'. And I don't think anyone thinks that Schabas was an unbiased party here, given his past history of statements. On the other hand, I don't think that $1k worth of consulting work makes for much of a conflict of interest - I think that Bibi et al were just looking for something to discredit him, and seized on this.

    Even with a somewhat more reasonable leader of an inquiry back in 2009, we saw that the Goldstone report was tainted and full of nonsense. These things are just political footballs for the UNGA and UNHRC to bang on about Israeli war crimes irrespective of reality. I think fighting them just makes Israel look petty; they should instead retreat to lofty disapproval and fact-based rebuttals; this vitriol around a guy who seems to be pretty decent (if biased) is just wasted political capital.

  7. #487
    I'm gonna use this thread to register my complaint about "zionuts" in the US congress. Boehner and Netenyahu shouldn't have ignored protocol, aka as diplomacy, to make political points.

  8. #488
    Got forbid politicians make political points.
    Hope is the denial of reality

  9. #489
    Quote Originally Posted by Loki View Post
    Got forbid politicians make political points.
    If you meant God forbid.....then I agree.

    If people can't make cogent arguments without citing passages from the Old or New Testament, or the Torah or Quran, their legal arguments are on shady ground, in today's complex environment.

    Putin's Russia a good example of that, as is the US....and politicians moving/riding that wave.

  10. #490
    Netanyahu is using the current Danish attacks to urge Danish Jews to emigrate to Israel (he did the same after the French attacks). Does the guy have no tact at all? Say these things in private, not in public. Or at least wait a few months.
    Hope is the denial of reality

  11. #491
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    Eh, did you expect differently from this man?
    Greece shows us that there is a kind of politician worse than the ones that break their election promises; the ones that keep their election promises.

  12. #492
    Not after Paris, but still. I think he at least waited a few days that time.
    Hope is the denial of reality

  13. #493
    Hope is the denial of reality

  14. #494
    The guy following him is the one part that made me wonder if it was staged.

    Still.

  15. #495
    Not at all surprising, Loki and Dread. Thousands of French Jews are voting with their feet every year, now - up to 1% of the remaining population. Walking around with a kippah in France is definitely a no-no - people are routinely beaten.

    On the one hand, I agree that Netanyahu is tasteless and offensive. On the other hand, I don't think he's entirely wrong. In just two short generations antisemitism is again alive and well in large swaths of Europe. Antisemitic attitudes are shockingly common (based on public opinion polling), political parties with varying amounts of antisemitism are gaining ground in a variety of countries (France's National Front, Hungary's Jobbik, Greece's Golden Dawn, etc). Violence against Jewish institutions and persons continues unabated. It's hard to imagine that this could turn really ugly in a recapitulation of the 1930s, but that's what European Jews said in the 1930s as well. Back in the late 20s and early 30s, a few obscure populist parties started to gain traction on the base of terrible economic conditions, and their rhetoric against Jews and others fell on the receptive ears of a latently antisemitic populace. Sounds familiar, eh?

    Now, I don't think this nightmare scenario is even close to likely, and I think that the institutions and norms in most of Europe have improved dramatically since those dark days. But that doesn't mean that if I lived in France I might not seriously consider moving to the US, UK, or Israel. Netanyahu sees the world through this lens because of history, and he's no wrong to be concerned. People forget all too quickly just why Israel exists, and that its purpose is still, sadly, needed today. Netanyahu is a dick about it, and nakedly self-serving in terms of his political goals... but he might not be wrong.

  16. #496
    I don't disagree with your analysis, and there's some basis for Netanyahu's suggestions (though I don't agree with those suggestions). My main problem is the when and how of Netanyahu's pronouncements. It seems geared towards the election cycle, antagonizes friendly European nations, and makes the Jews who remain in Europe look like a fifth column. This is something that should be said in private and preferably a few months from now. All of this doesn't say much for Netanyahu's foreign policy acumen or his understanding of the circumstances non-Israeli Jews face in their day-to-day life.

    And I'd hate to play the "we can't let the terrorists win" card, but do we really want to tell potential terrorists that all they have to do to rid a European country of its Jews to engage in a few acts of violence towards them?
    Hope is the denial of reality

  17. #497
    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/06/us...t-at-ucla.html

    Pretty disturbing. More evidence that the line between the divestment in Israel movement and anti-Semitism is frequently a non-existent one.
    Hope is the denial of reality

  18. #498
    Quote Originally Posted by Loki View Post
    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/06/us...t-at-ucla.html

    Pretty disturbing. More evidence that the line between the divestment in Israel movement and anti-Semitism is frequently a non-existent one.
    What a fucked-up situation... odd that the discussion didn't continue with things like

    "Given that you are a female student..."

    "Given that you are a male student..."

    "Given that you are a white student..."

    "Given that you are a douchebag student..."

    or any combination thereof.
    “Humanity's greatest advances are not in its discoveries, but in how those discoveries are applied to reduce inequity.”
    — Bill Gates

  19. #499
    I love the parts where they admit she's super-qualified but openly claim that they need to find a reason to reject her because she's Jewish.
    Hope is the denial of reality

  20. #500
    Quote Originally Posted by Loki View Post
    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/06/us...t-at-ucla.html

    Pretty disturbing. More evidence that the line between the divestment in Israel movement and anti-Semitism is frequently a non-existent one.
    This isn't new (which is disturbing itself). The left's party policy is to push for race based discrimination. They smear minority Republicans particularly harshly - solely because they are Republican. Clarence Thomas for example is bashed more often than any other conservative justice. In the farthest left regions of college campuses they want Israel to cease to exist as a country.

  21. #501
    http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opi...103525975.html And that's the English-language al-Jazeera.
    Hope is the denial of reality

  22. #502
    Well, even they couldn't even get around this -

    Article retracted, 25/2/2015.
    Editor's note: An earlier version of this page hosted an article which stated that Israel had, without warning, opened a number of dams, which had resulted in a part of Gaza being flooded.
    This was false.
    In southern Israel, there are no dams of the type which can be opened.
    We apologise for this error.
    Al Jazeera depends on objective reporting and strives to correct all errors of fact. We are committed to accountability and transparency.
    We encourage our audience and others to identify and report our mistakes.

  23. #503
    Quote Originally Posted by Dreadnaught View Post
    Well, even they couldn't even get around this -
    Heh, this is sadly true for a lot of their stories - demonstrably false information that doesn't even get cursory fact checking. You can only imagine how stories that are harder to fact check are evaluated (i.e. not at all). Pallywood et al is a real issue.

    I'm particularly concerned about this for two reasons. First, I'm astonished that people are giving kudos to Al Jazeera for printing a retraction. Yes, it was the bare minimum necessary, but any even remotely reputable paper (which AJ strives to be) would immediately do the same. It is a symptom of the abysmally low quality and credibility of ME media. Secondly, stories like this abound in the non-Western (and, occasionally, Western) press. When you're bombarded by this sort of stuff on a daily basis, it's remarkably easy to believe even obviously false statements about Israeli culpability for X. Living in this kind of echo chamber is not just turning people into idiots and demagogues; it actively sabotages the chances that Israel can ever reach a peaceful relationship with its neighbors. If even 'reputable' sources keep on demonizing Israel (one clever commentator called it a Flood Libel), there's no way people can come to an equitable agreement.

  24. #504
    Come on, you can't be sure they didn't punish (eg. through whipping etc) the incompetents who failed to catch the error
    “Humanity's greatest advances are not in its discoveries, but in how those discoveries are applied to reduce inequity.”
    — Bill Gates

  25. #505
    Their entire editorial team routinely makes these "errors". If anything, coming up with new reasons to blast Israel (real or not) seems to be rewarded.
    Hope is the denial of reality

  26. #506
    Looks like the Israeli exit polls were off by several percent. Zionist conspiracy or not?
    Hope is the denial of reality

  27. #507
    Quote Originally Posted by Loki View Post
    Looks like the Israeli exit polls were off by several percent. Zionist conspiracy or not?
    *shrugs* The margin of error on most of those polls is pretty large, and there are all sorts of sampling problems due to the granularity of the electorate. It doesn't really change the underlying coalition math much, though. The only question is whether Netanyahu ends up wooing Yesh Atid or Shas; I assume he'll avoid a unity government if at all possible. I assume Bennett, Lieberman, and Kahlon will all fall in line relatively easily by being given various cabinet posts. Then he's just a few seats shy of a government. My guess is he'll continue to shun the two religious parties, leaving him with Yesh Atid. Might be a bit tricky, but probably very doable.

    Even had he gotten the originally reported 27 seats, though, Herzog would have been up a creek. Meretz was only polling at 4-5, the Arab list wouldn't joint a government, and there's no way he'd be able to get Likud, Lieberman, or Bennett. Yesh Atid and Kulanu are options, but probably not with Meretz. Even if he got all of them he's only be talking 52 seats or so, with no other real options. He could bribe Shas or UTJ, but that would be very challenging to do in the same coalition with Yesh Atid and Meretz. So absent a real landslide or a terrible showing for Likud, Netanyahu always was going to have the upper hand. The only way out was if Likud polled at more like 20 seats and Herzog's joint list got in the high 20s (with other seats likely going to Bennett and Kahlon). That would have opened up the possibility of a Labor-led unity government. But once the exit polls came out, it was clear that wasn't going to happen.

    I will admit that this is a pretty remarkable renaissance for Labor, though. Remember that just a few elections ago, the party was languishing in the low teens and were largely discredited. This from the most powerful party at the country's founding, one that was routinely getting 40+ seats every election until the early 90s. Herzog was an unlikely savior, but he has helped turn the party around. If he had campaigned on a more substantive platform (rather than, well, 'I'm not Netanyahu'), though, I think he might have been more successful.

  28. #508
    I wonder how much Netanyahu's declaration opposing a two-state solution played into this. The Israeli experts kept on saying that the election was going to be about bread and butter issues, and yet as Netanyahu turned to the right on foreign policy, he saw his share of the vote skyrocket.

    I agree that the right has a much easier path towards victory than the left. I did read a few pieces that suggest Rivlin can more or less force Netanyahu into a national unity coalition. Should be interesting to see how hard he tries. Though this was based on the polls putting Likud and the Zionist Union at ~23 seats a piece.
    Hope is the denial of reality

  29. #509
    I have no idea what Rivlin will do - he's probably one of the most respected politicians in modern day Israel, but his political positions are sometimes unpredictable. It's certainly possible that he can pressure Netanyahu into a national unity government, but it sure didn't sound like Bibi has any intention of forming such a coalition, nor does he need to.

    I really don't know if Netanyahu's more hawkish stance in recent weeks (or, for that matter, his address to Congress) helped or hindered him with the broader electorate. But I suspect it did help him with his right wing base, some of which was looking like it might go to Bennett or possibly Lieberman. Bennett's party lost pretty substantially, and most of those votes probably went to Likud by strategic voting (to keep a right wing coalition in office). So Netanyahu probably benefited, but I question whether it actually increased his popularity with the general electorate at all. Among the broad middle of Israeli politics, you again got lots of protest votes rather than votes for anyone. Yesh Atid and Kahlon's new party did well precisely because people are fed up with Likud and Labor. Herzog did well because people are wanted anyone other than more Bibi. I doubt that among this electorate, Netanyahu's shift rightward did anything to garner him broader appeal. His shift might have made sense from the perspective of being in a strong position for coalition negotiations, though, even if he didn't really gain many votes from centrist or leftist parties.

  30. #510
    I agree on your latter point. I don't think the appeal was meant to siphon off the vote from the left. It was clearly intended to boost Likud's fortunes at the expense of other right-wing parties. It's a pretty desperate move for a politician who now has to govern though.
    Hope is the denial of reality

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