Israel sanctions al-Jazeera after it holds party for released child-killer (& other items)

July 28, 2008


1. Roma girls dead on a beach in Italy, ignored by sunbathers...
2. Israel to sanction al-Jazeera after it holds party to honor released child-killer
3. Foreign press: All Obama, all the time
4. Obama tells reporters not to wear green
5. And it came to pass, in the eighth year of the reign of the evil Bush the Younger
6. “Now Bush is appeasing Iran”
7. Sudden silence from MoveOn and DailyKos
8. Iranian athletes banned from giving interviews to foreign media at Olympics
9. Iran yesterday hanged 29 “drug traffickers, murderers, rapists, alcohol drinkers”
10. Photos of the anti-British demonstration yesterday in Iran
11. Iranian-born businessmen donate $180,000 to the Obama campaign

[Note by Tom Gross]

The following are all items I have written and posted on National Review Online (NRO) in recent days. The date that each was published is underneath the headline. (They can also be read here.)

The first one does not concern the Middle East.



[Saturday, July 26, 2008]

It has always amazed me how even my most liberal friends in Europe are utterly racist towards Roma (Gypsies). Roma are Europe’s largest stateless minority – and (now that most of the Jews have been killed) arguably the most persecuted.

It is therefore to be welcomed that the lead story in today’s edition of the conservative-supporting Daily Mail, Britain’s second highest circulation daily paper, highlights the latest appalling abuse of Roma. The Mail’s front page lead story today (Saturday) begins as follows:

The world was shocked by Italian sunbathers ignoring dead gipsy girls... But now Italy is showing a chilling interest in Roma children
By Sue Reid
July 26, 2008

It was the week’s most shocking picture: gipsy girls dead on a beach ignored by sunbathers... Now there is more chilling evidence of how Italy’s brutal crackdown on the Roma has sick echoes of the country’s fascist past.

She looks like any teenager the world over. Wearing a denim skirt, pink designer T-shirt, and with long hair tied back from her face, Samantha is a child who would make any parent proud.

Yet just a few days ago, this bubbly 14-year-old found herself taking part in an exercise that would seem unthinkable in a modern, civilized European country.

She was ordered to line up at the local community hall near her home in Naples, Italy, and dab her right forefinger in black ink before placing it on a government census form.

(Photo caption: The bodies of Cristina, 12, and Viola, 11, were left on the sand after they drowned in rough seas as holidaymakers carry on sunbathing nearby.)

* Please click and scroll down here to view this shocking photo (also below).

(You can read the rest here. For an example of my own past writings on Roma, please see here.)



[Wednesday, July 23, 2008]

Israel has decided to impose sanctions on al-Jazeera staff working in the Jewish state, after the influential pan-Arab TV station held a party for released Lebanese child-killer Samir Kuntar.

The party, held in Beirut, was organized by the al-Jazeera bureau there to honor Kuntar. Kuntar, 45, was freed by Israel last week as part of a controversial prisoner swap. He had been serving several life sentences for murdering four Israelis, including a four-year-old girl whose head he bashed in with a rifle butt and a rock. He has shown no remorse for his crimes and said he would “proudly do them again.”

“We are freezing all GPO services until such time that we receive a reasonable explanation from al-Jazeera,” Danny Seaman, director of the Israeli Government Press Office (GPO), tells me. (These sanctions are largely symbolic and won’t prevent al-Jazeera from broadcasting from Israel.)

Meanwhile, David Shriki, an Israeli who was wounded in a little reported terror attack in Jerusalem 12 days ago, died of his wounds this morning.

(There is a photo here of Kuntar making a Nazi-like salute at a rally in his honor in Beirut last week; click here for background on Kuntar’s release.)



[Wednesday, July 23, 2008]

It is not only the American media that is in love with Barack Obama.

Toby Harnden, U.S. editor of the (London) Daily Telegraph, told Politico today that so adored is Obama by European elites that it’s almost as if Obama had been “designed by a committee of Europeans” with the goal of creating their ideal American presidential candidate.

“The German press, looking from Berlin, behaves as if the election of Obama is a foregone conclusion,” added Josef Joffe, editor of the German paper Die Zeit (and also a subscriber to this email list). “He’s being celebrated like a victorious Roman general who comes back from the conquest of Gaul or something.”

Meanwhile, the (London) Daily Telegraph reports that Obama has the support of a third of the Conservative Party members of Parliament.

Scroll down here for a Reuters photo from earlier today of their chosen candidate, with arch terrorist the late Yasser Arafat looking on.



[Tuesday, July 22, 2008]

An Obama campaign ban on green clothing during the candidate’s visits to Jordan and Israel today has left reporters traveling with Obama bemused.

In a memo to reporters, Obama advance staffer Peter Newell laid out rules on attire for Jordan and Israel. First among them: “Do not wear green.” An Obama aide explained to reporters that green is the color associated with the Palestinian terror group Hamas.



[Friday, July 25, 2008]

For those who haven’t read it yet, attached below is the amusing new column by Gerard Baker of the Times of London on Obamaniacs.

You can also watch Gerard Baker reading the column, set to pictures, here on Fox News.


He ventured forth to bring light to the world
The anointed one’s pilgrimage to the Holy Land is a miracle in action – and a blessing to all his faithful followers
By Gerard Baker
The Times (of London)
July 25, 2008

And it came to pass, in the eighth year of the reign of the evil Bush the Younger (The Ignorant), when the whole land from the Arabian desert to the shores of the Great Lakes had been laid barren, that a Child appeared in the wilderness.

The Child was blessed in looks and intellect. Scion of a simple family, offspring of a miraculous union, grandson of a typical white person and an African peasant. And yea, as he grew, the Child walked in the path of righteousness, with only the occasional detour into the odd weed and a little blow.

When he was twelve years old, they found him in the temple in the City of Chicago, arguing the finer points of community organisation with the Prophet Jeremiah and the Elders. And the Elders were astonished at what they heard and said among themselves: “Verily, who is this Child that he opens our hearts and minds to the audacity of hope?”

In the great Battles of Caucus and Primary he smote the conniving Hillary, wife of the deposed King Bill the Priapic and their barbarian hordes of Working Class Whites.

And so it was, in the fullness of time, before the harvest month of the appointed year, the Child ventured forth – for the first time – to bring the light unto all the world.


He travelled fleet of foot and light of camel, with a small retinue that consisted only of his loyal disciples from the tribe of the Media. He ventured first to the land of the Hindu Kush, where the

Taleban had harboured the viper of al-Qaeda in their bosom, raining terror on all the world.

And the Child spake and the tribes of Nato immediately loosed the Caveats that had previously bound them. And in the great battle that ensued the forces of the light were triumphant. For as long as the Child stood with his arms raised aloft, the enemy suffered great blows and the threat of terror was no more.

From there he went forth to Mesopotamia where he was received by the great ruler al-Maliki, and al-Maliki spake unto him and blessed his Sixteen Month Troop Withdrawal Plan even as the imperial warrior Petraeus tried to destroy it.

And lo, in Mesopotamia, a miracle occurred. Even though the Great Surge of Armour that the evil Bush had ordered had been a terrible mistake, a waste of vital military resources and doomed to end in disaster, the Child’s very presence suddenly brought forth a great victory for the forces of the light.

And the Persians, who saw all this and were greatly fearful, longed to speak with the Child and saw that the Child was the bringer of peace. At the mention of his name they quickly laid aside their intrigues and beat their uranium swords into civil nuclear energy ploughshares.


From there the Child went up to the city of Jerusalem, and entered through the gate seated on an ass. The crowds of network anchors who had followed him from afar cheered “Hosanna” and waved great palm fronds and strewed them at his feet.

In Jerusalem and in surrounding Palestine, the Child spake to the Hebrews and the Arabs, as the Scripture had foretold. And in an instant, the lion lay down with the lamb, and the Israelites and Ishmaelites ended their long enmity and lived for ever after in peace.

As word spread throughout the land about the Child’s wondrous works, peoples from all over flocked to hear him; Hittites and Abbasids; Obamacons and McCainiacs; Cameroonians and Blairites.

And they told of strange and wondrous things that greeted the news of the Child’s journey. Around the world, global temperatures began to decline, and the ocean levels fell and the great warming was over.

The Great Prophet Algore of Nobel and Oscar, who many had believed was the anointed one, smiled and told his followers that the Child was the one generations had been waiting for.

And there were other wonderful signs. In the city of the Street at the Wall, spreads on interbank interest rates dropped like manna from Heaven and rates on credit default swaps fell to the ground as dead birds from the almond tree, and the people who had lived in foreclosure were able to borrow again.

Black gold gushed from the ground at prices well below $140 per barrel. In hospitals across the land the sick were cured even though they were uninsured. And all because the Child had pronounced it.


And this is the testimony of one who speaks the truth and bears witness to the truth so that you might believe. And he knows it is the truth for he saw it all on CNN and the BBC and in the pages of The New York Times.

Then the Child ventured forth from Israel and Palestine and stepped onto the shores of the Old Continent. In the land of Queen Angela of Merkel, vast multitudes gathered to hear his voice, and he preached to them at length.

But when he had finished speaking his disciples told him the crowd was hungry, for they had had nothing to eat all the hours they had waited for him.

And so the Child told his disciples to fetch some food but all they had was five loaves and a couple of frankfurters. So he took the bread and the frankfurters and blessed them and told his disciples to feed the multitudes. And when all had eaten their fill, the scraps filled twelve baskets.

Thence he travelled west to Mount Sarkozy. Even the beauteous Princess Carla of the tribe of the Bruni was struck by awe and she was great in love with the Child, but he was tempted not.

On the Seventh Day he walked across the Channel of the Angles to the ancient land of the hooligans. There he was welcomed with open arms by the once great prophet Blair and his successor, Gordon the Leper, and his successor, David the Golden One.

And suddenly, with the men appeared the archangel Gabriel and the whole host of the heavenly choir, ranks of cherubim and seraphim, all praising God and singing: “Yes, We Can.”



[Monday, July 21, 2008]

Michael Rubin, who is also a longtime subscriber to this email list, has an important piece in The Wall Street Journal today with some tough things to say about the Bush administration’s apparent about-turn on Iran.

Among his points:

* Diplomacy is not wrong, but President Bush’s reversal is diplomatic malpractice on a Carter-esque level that is breathing new life into a failing regime.

* Ms. Rice’s State Department has bolstered Ahmadinejad and his fellow travelers. As Ahmadinejad begins his re-election campaign, he can say he has successfully brought Washington to its knees through blunt defiance, murder of U.S. troops in Iraq, and Holocaust denial. Should he win re-election in 2009, he will have Mr. Bush’s whiplash diplomacy to thank for his greatest – and, given the state of his economy, perhaps only – victory.



[Friday, July 25, 2008]

Ralph Peters writes in The New York Post:

“Am I the only one who’s noticed the silence? Mere months ago, left-wing bloggers and demonstrators were wailing Support our troops, bring them home! seven days a week.

“Now their presidential candidate has announced that he won’t bring all those troops home, but will simply transfer combat forces from Iraq to Afghanistan – expanding that war. (He’s discussed possibly invading Pakistan, too.)

“And the left’s quiet as a graveyard at midnight. Where are the outraged protests from MoveOn or the DailyKos? I thought the extreme left felt sorry for our service members in harm’s way and wanted to reunite them with their families.”



[Monday, July 28, 2008]

Iran’s Mehr news agency reports from Tehran that The Supreme Council for Cultural Revolution has banned Iranian athletes from giving interviews to the foreign media at the forthcoming Beijing Olympics.

“No Iranian sportsman is, under any circumstances, allowed to speak to foreign media without the approval of the Iranian government,” said Mohammad Saydanlu, the Director-General of Physical Education Organization for Cultural Affairs. Those who violated this order face punishment, he added.



[Monday, July 28, 2008]

Iran on Sunday (yesterday) hanged 29 men convicted of offenses including drug trafficking, murder, rape, and drinking alcohol, in the country’s largest mass execution in years. The hangings were carried out inside Tehran’s notorious Evin prison at 5:10 am, Iran’s state broadcaster IRIB said.

Amnesty International says that in 2007 Iran applied the death penalty more often than any other country apart from China, executing 317 people.

Human rights groups are also asking Iran to stop hanging persons who were under the age of 18 at the time of their offenses, in accordance with its obligations under international agreements.

The rights group run by Nobel peace laureate Shirin Ebadi has slammed the rising number of executions, and last week another group, the Volunteer Lawyers’ Network, said Iran planned to stone to death eight women and a man sentenced to die for adultery.



[Monday, July 28, 2008]

Here are photos of the anti-British demonstration yesterday in Iran.



[Monday, July 28, 2008]

* In Persian here.
* In English here.

[All notes above by Tom Gross]

All notes and summaries copyright © Tom Gross. All rights reserved.