* “Johnston’s kidnappers received $5 million and a million Kalashnikov rifle bullets”
* Osama bin Laden’s surprising new daughter-in-law
1. American “Rachel Corrie” judge compares Israel to Nazis
2. AFP surprised after Sarkozy calls Hizbullah terrorists
3. Stoned to death in Iran
4. Iranian regime following 2008 U.S. presidential campaign with interest
5. Alan Johnston update: BBC finally admits to having relations with Hamas
6. Melanie Phillips on the BBC (By Melanie Phillips, July 9, 2007)
7. Jane Felix-Browne, a 51-year-old grandmother and parish councillor from Cheshire, England, marries Osama bin Laden’s 27-year-old son
I attach items written by myself for the National Review in recent days (and one item by Melanie Phillips.) (These can also be accessed at the National Review website.)
I am glad to report that these items are increasingly being linked to by various mainstream media around the world. For example, here’s The Times of London’s world web round-up yesterday.
AMERICAN “RACHEL CORRIE” JUDGE COMPARES ISRAEL TO NAZIS
The death of the pro-Hamas American activist Rachel Corrie in Gaza in 2003 is continuing to stir controversy.
The latest comes from American judge Michael Hawkins (of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals) who yesterday in court outrageously compared Israel to Nazi Germany:
Judge Michael Hawkins asked Justice Department lawyer Robert Loeb to consider the hypothetical case of a U.S. oven manufacturer during World War II: “If the company continued selling ovens to Germany, knowing they were being used to kill Jews, would there be legal grounds to go after the company?” he asked.
Don’t believe much of the rest of the AP piece linked to above either, about what AP refers to as the “peace” activist Corrie. Instead, see the photos of Corrie, Corrie’s parents, and the child victims of those arms smugglers Corrie did so much to defend, at the foot of this page.
AFP SURPRISED AFTER SARKOZY CALLS HIZBULLAH TERRORISTS
The Paris-based international news agency Agence France Presse has been taken aback by the fact that new President Nicolas Sarkozy yesterday called Hizbullah a “terrorist group.”
“Questioned as to whether the president had described Lebanon’s Hizbullah as ‘terrorist,’ as Jewish organization officials escorting the families claimed, Elysee spokesman David Martinon said: ‘Yes,’” say a shocked AFP at the top of a story which is meant to be about developments in the Middle East.
Sarkozy’s approach to terrorists is certainly different to that of his predecessor Jacques Chirac. See, for example, the final photo here.
STONED TO DEATH IN IRAN
Jafar Kiani, from the village of Aghche Kand in Qazvin province, was buried up to his waist, after which the crowd hurled stones at him until he was dead.
No this isn’t a scene from Monty Python’s Life of Brian.
It happened. Today. In Iran. Under the regime’s Islamic law.
The woman with whom Kiani (may he rest in peace) supposedly committed adultery is also waiting to be stoned to death.
It will be even more horrific for her. Under the Islamic punishment of stoning, a male victim is buried up to his waist with his hands tied behind his back, whereas a female is buried up to her neck with her hands also buried.
And the Iranian regime still has its defenders in the West.
IRANIAN REGIME FOLLOWING 2008 U.S. PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN WITH INTEREST
(July 12, 2007)
Meanwhile President Ahmadinejad says that centrifuge installation will continue.
ALAN JOHNSTON UPDATE: BBC FINALLY ADMITS TO HAVING RELATIONS WITH HAMAS
But finally the BBC, the world’s biggest broadcaster, has itself admitted to being in touch with Hamas – the group that unlike other Islamic terror groups, has made a habit of deliberately targeting children (in school buses, bat mitzvah birthday parties, pizzerias filled with kids and so on).
A senior BBC executive has confirmed that the BBC held private meetings with Hamas – whose gunmen usually wear ski masks to hide their identity – in the days leading up to the release of reporter Alan Johnston.
In a new posting on the blog of the BBC News website, BBC Middle East bureau editor Simon Wilson confirms that he held meetings with Hamas leaders in Gaza and Damascus to discuss Johnston’s fate. In his piece, titled “The Joy of Alan,” Wilson hints he was ordered to do so by more senior officials at the BBC.
Wilson also reveals that he and several colleagues were nearly kidnapped themselves on one of their outings to Gaza:
“One grim day, a group of masked and armed men apparently looking for a hostage turned up 20 minutes after one of my colleagues had just left a building in Gaza City. Shortly afterwards, a contact in a western intelligence service gave us chilling and compelling evidence that our every move was being followed by a car full of armed gang members.”
The BBC isn’t the only organization apparently now cooperating with Hamas. Yesterday in an interview with Italy’s RAI TV, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said Gaza’s Hamas rulers were forging ever-closer ties with al-Qaeda and inviting al-Qaeda operatives to enter Gaza. “Thanks to the support of Hamas, al-Qaeda is entering Gaza,” Abbas said.
Would Wilson and other BBC officials also now like to comment on this report in Al-Hayat Al-Jadida – especially located by my sources in Gaza – that Jaysh Al-Islam (the so-called Army of Islam group who were holding Johnston) received $5 million and a million Kalashnikov rifle bullets in the deal to release Johnston?
I think British TV license-payers are entitled to know what is done with their money.
MELANIE PHILLIPS ON THE BBC
By Melanie Phillips
July 9, 2007
The BBC’s Middle East editor Jeremy Bowen, reporting on the aftermath of Alan Johnston’s release (in which he placed Hamas’s stated, documented and constantly reiterated genocidal intentions in metaphorical quote marks by saying merely that this was what ‘Israel believes’), gushed thus:
“To get the mood in Gaza, I rang the BBC’s excellent Fayed Abu Shamala, our senior journalist there. No-one worked harder to get Alan Johnston out. He gave a vivid account of the last few days in Gaza, which I think is worth quoting at length. … Israel may not like it, but there are signs that some people in influential positions in the West are changing their view of Hamas after everything it did to release Alan Johnston.”
According to Tom Gross in 2004, however, ‘the BBC’s excellent’ Fayed abu Shamala is actually rather close to Hamas:
“Some of the foreign BBC staff are quite open about their sympathies for Hamas. The senior BBC Arabic Service correspondent in the Gaza Strip, Fayad Abu Shamala, told a Hamas rally on May 6, 2001, (attended by the then Hamas leader Sheikh Ahmed Yassin) that journalists and media organizations in Gaza, including the BBC, are ‘waging the campaign [of resistance/terror against Israel] shoulder-to-shoulder together with the Palestinian people.’ The best the BBC could do in response to requests from Israel that they distance themselves from these remarks at the time, was to issue a statement saying, ‘Fayad’s remarks were made in a private capacity. His reports have always matched the best standards of balance required by the BBC.’ Indeed, today, three years later, the BBC is continuing to use Abu Shamala as much as ever. He was, for example, one of the BBC reporters in Gaza last month, who contributed to the BBC’s highly slanted reporting (on both the BBC English and Arabic services) of Israel’s operation to root out Hamas bomb-makers in Rafah in the southern Gaza.”
Abu Shamala was by Johnston’s side when he came out of Gaza. Shouldn’t the BBC acknowledge that their ‘excellent’ senior Arabic service correspondent in Gaza who reports on Hamas is a close associate of Hamas? Indeed, shouldn’t the BBC’s senior Arabic correspondent in Gaza have no such affiliation at all? Or to put it another way, why should the British TV licence-fee payer subsidise a Hamas supporter broadcasting propaganda about Hamas under the guise of objectivity and detachment?
Hello, BBC trustees? Anyone still actually alive in there?
JANE FELIX-BROWNE, A 51-YEAR-OLD GRANDMOTHER AND PARISH COUNCILLOR FROM CHESHIRE. ENGLAND, MARRIES OSAMA BIN LADEN’S 27-YEAR-OLD SON
Yes, it’s true, according to today’s Times of London:
A British woman has married a son of Osama bin Laden after a holiday romance and is to apply for a visa so that he can visit Britain.
Jane Felix-Browne, a 51-year-old grandmother and parish councillor from Cheshire, has until now kept her marriage to Omar Ossama bin Laden, 27, secret from everyone apart from her immediate family and close friends. But she has now agreed to speak about her relationship with bin Laden’s fourth eldest son.
“It would be nice if, like any other married woman, I could stand up and say this is my husband and this is his name, but I have to be realistic about things,” she told The Times. “I hope people don’t judge me too harshly. I married the son, not the father.”
… “I just married the man I met and fell in love with – to me he is just Omar. He is the most beautiful person I have ever met. His heart is pure, he is pious, quiet, a true gentleman, and he is my best friend.”
Mrs Felix-Browne, who has been married five times previously, met the young bin Laden in Egypt in September. They were married in Islamic ceremonies in Egypt and Saudi Arabia.
She was aware before her marriage that her new husband already had another wife and a two-year-old child. “I haven’t seen her but I have spoken to her for about an hour on the telephone,” she said. “She is fine about it.”
Osama Bin Laden has at least 17 children.