1. No basketball for Iran
2. Finger points to British intelligence as al-Qaeda websites disappear
3. Prominent Danish newspaper: “We are all Israelis” now
4. Will Danish NGOs never again help fund Palestinian suicide bombers?
5. Swedish tabloid: Tel Aviv match puts our soccer team in “Death’s Way”
6. Palestinian terrorists kill 6-year-old Palestinian boy
7. Leading London mosque: How to request a fatwa by email
8. Google reported to give news agency status to Rachel Corrie’s ISM
9. Ken Livingstone compares Qaradawi and Sharon
[Note by Tom Gross]
NO BASKETBALL FOR IRAN
Following-up yesterday’s dispatch (Iran’s new President, sworn in today, praises “the art of martyrdom”), as predicted the Iranian basketball team withdrew from the World Under 21 Championship in Argentina yesterday evening rather than face Israel against whom Iran was drawn. The Iranians gave the bogus excuse of “visa difficulties.”
FINGER POINTS TO BRITISH INTELLIGENCE AS PRO-AL-QAEDA WEBSITES ARE WIPED OUT
Over the past fortnight Israeli intelligence agents have noted that one by one, Al-Qaeda’s affiliated websites, which used to disseminate propaganda and misinformation (but also sometimes useful as a source of intelligence gathering), have vanished from the Internet. According to Israeli sources, British intelligence agents have been behind the disappearance of these websites, following the July 7 attacks in London. For example, the Pakistani site, www.mojihedun.com, in which a section entitled “How to Strike a European City” gave full technical instructions, has disappeared from the web.
PROMINENT DANISH NEWSPAPER: “WE ARE ALL ISRAELIS”
In a new editorial, Denmark’s most popular newspaper, Jylland Posten, has proclaimed that now “We are all Israelis.” The editorial strongly criticized the West’s hypocrisy towards Israel, which it said in the past had sometimes gone so far as to deny Israel the right to defend itself under attack. The editorial added that Europe is now getting a taste of what Israel has had to endure for many years.
A Danish-speaking German subscriber to this email list who notified me of this editorial, adds: “It is to be hoped that the Germans and French do not need to suffer a London-style suicide attack, in order to understand this lesson.”
Denmark has about 500 troops in Iraq, and on his way to the G8 summit last month President Bush visited the country to thank the Danes for their support. Fears of a terror attack in Denmark increased recently since the terrorist website that took responsibility for the London attacks threatened Denmark and Italy.
WILL DANISH NGOS NEVER AGAIN HELP FUND PALESTINIAN SUICIDE BOMBERS?
The new Danish editorial echoes the Le Monde editorial on September 12, 2001 titled, “We Are All Americans”. It is also represents a major departure from another Danish story I sent on this email list last year (Danish NGO helped fund yesterday’s Tel Aviv suicide bomb, Nov. 2, 2004.)
As part of the note to that dispatch, I wrote:
“Today’s edition of Denmark’s main paper, “Politiken,” reports that two weeks ago, the Danish NGO “Rebellion” donated 50,000 Danish Kroners ($8,500) to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), which proudly claimed responsibility for yesterday’s Tel Aviv suicide bombing. This NGO is supported by a number of members of the Danish Parliament. The PFLP is a faction within Yasser Arafat’s Palestine Liberation Organization.
Following yesterday’s bomb, reports Politiken, a leader of the NGO was asked if they now had any regrets about the donation. The reply was “no.”
The bomber, who turned 16 just four months ago, was the youngest ever “successful” suicide bomber. Palestinian dignitaries have condemned the choice of bomber because of his age but not the fact he murdered three Israelis (two women – one of them a Nazi concentration camp survivor – and a man) shopping in the (crowded, working class, open-air, Carmel) market and wounded over 40 others. The blast knocked over vegetable and fruit stalls and splattered blood and body parts over the narrow enclosed street in central Tel Aviv.
Samira Abdullah, the bomber’s mother, told the Associated Press: “It’s immoral to send someone so young. They should have sent an adult who understands the meaning of his deeds.”
“MALMO FC ON DEATH’S WAY”
Last night the Swedish soccer team Malmo faced Maccabi Haifa in the return game of their European Champions League second qualifying tie. European soccer’s governing body; UEFA will not allow the game to be staged in Haifa. (UEFA are not asking any soccer team in London to move their matches.)
Expressen, a Swedish tabloid previewed this fixture with the headline “Malmo FC on death’s way”. The sub heading reads: “Malmo will land in terror-struck Tel Aviv”. A Swedish source at Expressen told the Jerusalem Post that, “whenever Israel comes to people’s minds it’s about security issues.”
(The score in last night’s match was 2-2. Haifa let in a goal in the last minute and as a result went out on goal difference.)
PALESTINIAN TERRORISTS KILL 6-YEAR-OLD PALESTINIAN BOY
On Tuesday night, Islamic Jihad again fired rockets at Israeli civilians in Sderot, an Israeli town near Gaza. But they missed, and landed in northern Gaza, killing a 6-year-old Palestinian boy and wounding nine other Palestinians. Among the wounded were five children, aged 4 to 11, including four children of Hisham Abdel Razek, a senior official in the ruling Fatah party and a former Palestinian Cabinet minister. Abdel Razek’s wife was also injured.
This came less than 24 hours after a stray Palestinian rocket hit the Palestinian Nasser Hospital, in Khan Younis. The rocket caused no casualties but damaged the water network and the solar energy system.
There has been a lack of reporting, commentary or editorials in the western media condemning the killing and wounding of these innocent Palestinian children. It is hard to imagine that this would have been the case had Israel caused such damage in an anti-terror operation in Gaza.
In the past when Palestinians have died at the hands of other Palestinians several of the world’s leading news media, including the New York Times, have later added them to their total of “Palestinian victims of the Intifada” – leaving readers with the distinct, and completely false, impression that Israel killed them.
ON LINE FATWAS
“The Islamic Cultural Centre” and “The London Central Mosque” have set up a service so that the public can email, fax or phone in a fatwa. They claim to have a “Fatwa Committee composed of five dedicated Imams. They are here to provide you with the best advice possible according to the Qur’aan and the Sunnah”.
They are in the process of preparing a Fatwa archive for users. The address to send a fatwa is firstname.lastname@example.org and the website is www.iccuk.org/services/Imams/fatwas/fatwa.htm. A fatwa is a legal pronouncement in Islam issued by a religious law specialist on a specific issue.
Some of the most infamous fatwas include:
* The fatwa issued in 1989 by the Iranian Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini calling for the death of Salman Rushdie because some Moslem extremists didn’t like his novel “The Satanic verses”.
* The fatwa issued jointly in 1998 by Osama Bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri, which said: “The ruling to kill the Americans and their allies – civilians and military – is an individual duty for every Muslim who can do it in any country in which it is possible to do it...”
GOOGLE TO GIVE NEWS AGENCY STATUS TO ISM
The Google search engine plans to award the International Solidarity Movement, the pro-Palestinian extremist group made infamous by Rachel Corrie, the same status as professional news agencies such as Reuters and The Associated Press and as news sources such as CNN and Fox, according to press reports. While Reuters and the AP are sometimes still biased when it comes to reporting Israel, they are an example of supreme impartiality when contrasted with the ISM, a vehicle for spreading anti-Israel and anti-American hate.
As I wrote in my article “The forgotten Rachels” (The Jerusalem Post, April 25, 2005), the ISM is often described by the Western media as a “peace group,” even though its mission statement says “armed struggle” (i.e. suicide bombing and shooting of random civilians) is a Palestinian “right”.
The Palestinian Authority has also announced that the ISM will be given official license as a separate news agency.
An Ethiopian Jewish-Israeli soldier was killed in a stone-throwing incident last month, and another Israeli soldier lost an eye, both as a result of violence made possible by ISM “peace activists.”
The addition of ISM’s news items on to Google News, which is expected to take place in early September, is of particular concern because the ISM skilfully presents itself as an “objective news service” while promoting those who wish to see the end of Israel. In the past the ISM has concocted tales of atrocities by Israeli soldiers against Palestinians that and tried to persuade Western journalists to print them.
KEN LIVINGSTONE COMPARES QARADAWI AND SHARON
London Mayor Ken Livingstone, advocating a British pullout from Iraq in a long article in the Guardian today, again compared Sheikh Qaradawi to Ariel Sharon. Qaradawi says it is wrong for suicide bombers to murder British bus passengers, but it right for them to murder Israeli bus passengers.
Livingstone also suggests that Israel has deliberately killed thousands of Palestinian civilians during the intifada. Whether Livingstone is an out and out anti-Semite or merely an extremely misguided individual relying on certain myth-making British journalists for his “facts” on the Middle East is not clear. The consequence is that the Mayor of London is given a platform by The Guardian to suggest Israel kills innocent civilians, reminiscent of an anti-Semitic medieval blood libel. Livingstone seems to think that by doing so he will pick up votes at the next election in London.
* I attach an extract of the Danish editorial and also an article on the Swedish tabloid’s report on the Israeli soccer match.
-- Tom Gross
PROMINENT DANISH NEWSPAPER: “WE ARE ALL ISRAELIS”
Jylland posten, Denmark’s most popular daily newspaper, last Tuesday (July 26, 2005) published an article with the heading “We are all Israelis”. Attached is an extract from the article, translated into English. For any Danish speakers on this list, the full editorial can be read on the newspaper’s website at, www.jp.dk.
The editorial says:
“In multiple regard the West received a taste of its own medicine, the Israelis have already received from their neighbors and the Palestinian neighbors for decades... For a long time it (the West) very comfortably sat at safe distance from the same murderous assassins there and called for moderation and restraint.
... The criticism sometimes went to so far that it required Israel to do without its self-defense. In the eyes of many in the West Israel is seen as a symbol of all injustice in the world... Nevertheless our present experiences remind us that we are living the Israeli experience.
... Today we call all to the active fight against terror... then we became at the latest now, at least in this sense, Israelis.”
Swedish tabloid: Tel Aviv match puts soccer team in ‘death’s way’
By Talya Halkin
The Jerusalem Post
August 1, 2005
“Malmo FC on death’s way,” was the headline given by the Swedish tabloid Expressen to an article covering the Swedish soccer team’s departure for Israel. Malmo faces Maccabi Haifa in a European Champions League match on Wednesday at Jaffa’s Bloomfield Stadium.
“Malmo will land in terror-struck Tel Aviv,” said the sub-headline of the article, which appeared in the sports section. The article’s centerpiece was an eye-catching graphic display showing the Swedish team members playing against the background of a photo depicting the aftermath of a suicide bombing in Israel.
The article described the route that Malmo team members would take on their way from the Dan Hotel on Rehov Hayarkon to the Bloomfield Stadium. Along this route, the article said, were the sites of several “spectacular bombings” – including the terrorist attacks on Mike’s Place and the Stage nightclub.
A map of Tel Aviv marked the sites of three suicide bombings along the Herbert Samuel Promenade, accompanied by photographs of each of the sites in the aftermath of the bombing and the number of wounded and dead.
The article was written by Expressen’s Israel correspondent Arne Lapidus, who has been covering Israel for the past 25 years.
Shaul Aizenberg, the press officer for the Israeli Football Association, said he could not speak on behalf of the association, but his personal opinion was, “Whoever wrote the article wasn’t writing it in the spirit of sport, but in the spirit of incitement against Israel.
“The article has nothing to do with their actual visit,” he said. “Personally, it made me feel really bad.”
Another source in the Israeli sports media told The Jerusalem Post that the article was “nothing but a cheap provocation on the part of the Swedish newspaper.” The source said the article had exploited a general trend among European teams not to want to play in Israel, and that the Swedish team in particular had had some reservations about coming to Israel.
Giving bad press to Israel, the source added, could also be a way of appeasing criticism of the team’s decision to come here by satisfying anti-Israeli sentiment among some of the newspaper’s readers.
“It’s also a way of getting everyone worked up before the game,” the source said.
A Swedish source associated with Expressen told the Post that the article’s sensationalist headline and graphics were obviously meant to be attention-grabbers.
Nevertheless, the Swedish source added, “It seems to me to be a very legitimate article. After all, whenever Israel comes to people’s minds it’s about security issues.”
Lapidus told the Post that “one had to take into account that the paper was a Swedish tabloid with a sensationalist bent.” He added, however, that the article was “a straightforward report about Israel’s security problems.”
“Ample space was given to quotes from Malmo team members saying they felt safe in Israel, and that they were not worried about their security,” Lapidus said. “The article also pointed out that Tel Aviv was undergoing recovery, while giving examples of the suicide bombings that happened near the hotel – the last one being only six month ago. This is an article showing that there are problems here, but also stressing that the situation has stabilized.”
The Israeli consulate in Stockholm and the Israeli Foreign Ministry declined to comment.