Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Is there someone more crude and more obnoxious and more unrefined than Trump?

Yes, Mr. and Mrs. Netanyahu.

King Abdullah's speech in Riyadh

Did you notice? He began his speech with his halting Arabic, and then continued in English, and then finished it in Hebrew.

Shadi Hamid explains to the Post the entire basis of Muslim grievances vis-a-vis the West

He explains that all what they want is a nice tone, that is all: "Shadi Hamid, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and an expert on U.S. relations with the Muslim world, said the speech could help reset the Trump administration’s relationship with Muslims — if he sticks to the same tone."

What strikes you about the phrasing of this sentence in the Notre Dame speech of Mike Pence?

"the murder of innocent Muslims, the oppression of women, the persecution of Jews and the slaughter of Christians.""

The bottom line in Trump's relations with GCC regimes

"“One of the things that we will discuss is the purchase of lots of beautiful military equipment, because nobody makes it like the United States,” Trump told reporters ahead of his talks with the Qatari leader. “And for us that means jobs, and it also means, frankly, great security back here, which we want.”"

This is how Western media critically covers Gulf tyrannies

How they are so easily impressed with oil luxuries: "Trump gave his remarks in an opulent hall of the King Abdul Aziz International Conference Center, where crystal chandeliers hung from the gilded ceiling and attendees sat in plush armchairs. "  That is what I call investigative journalism.  

When you sing the tunes of GCC regimes

The same people who bashed Trump daily during his campaign and after his election, suddenly changed their tunes once criticisms of Trump were banned by GCC rulers: "“Very candid, very articulate,” said Abdulla, who was especially heartened that Trump had singled out Iran for criticism. He worried, though, that Trump’s mercurial personality might mean a sudden change in course. And Trump’s refusal to mention the lack of freedom in the Arab world was a “valid criticism,” he said."

How Saudis responded to Netanyahu's wish to visit Saudi Arabia

Haha.  Netanyahu asked for it.  Saudi citizens responded to Netanyahu and said that a visit to Saudi Arabia is only possible AFTER the liberation of Palestine.

The Saudi-Qatari feud is now represented in the DC think tank scene

If you read a criticism of Qatari regime in DC think tank, the person is often an advocate of the Saudi regime. And if you read criticisms of the Saudi regime--as rare as it is--the writer is often an advocate of the Qatari regime.

Saudi regime wants to keep the presence of a Saudi branch of ISIS a secret

And the US complied with the cover-up.

By the way, Bush also danced with the sword in Riyadh


When it comes to depth and originality, look for Fadlo Khuri

There are the aphorisms of Adorno, Nietzsche and, of course, Fadlo Khuri.  When will someone collect the sayings of this man? When?


Dr. Fadlo Khuri (@DrFadloKhuri)
Hanna M. "Jean" Khoury: April 24, 1967-May 22, 2017. A great man's life is defined by its impact and not its lengthpic.twitter.com/1jGGb3TIhV

Israeli occupation officers

Israeli occupation officers make it clear: they prefer ISIS.

Bahrain got the message from Trump

As Trump assured Bahrain tyrant that relations wouldn't be strained anymore, Bahrain regime forces attack village.

Comrade Joseph Massad on Israeli apartheid week

Comrade Joseph Massad's talk during Israeli Apartheid week at Harvard.

An Israeli Museum

What would a museum for a state founded (as an occupation project) only in 1948? Like a table from 1954, or a chair from 1960 or a glass container from 1968?  

Monday, May 22, 2017

The prince to the left

By the way, I don't know what you may have heard, but the Saudi prince to the left, is extremely funny and is known as a great conversationalist in the tradition of Isiah Berlin.  Just don't tickle him. It is his weakness.

So Trump assembled the idols of the Arab youth


What did the Trump family say about Arabs privately in Saudi Arabia? Eavesdropping of an Arab butler

As the Trump family was having dinner privately in their residence in Saudi Arabia, an Arab butler decided to eavesdrop on their private conversation.  He relayed to his friend this (my translation from Arabic): "At night as they were all in the Trump family sitting around and eating from the "mountain" of rice in front of them, he heard their conversation clearly.  They were badmouthing us (Arabs) and saying that we are dumb and has no personality or brain".

"... في الليل وبينما كانت كل عايلة ترامب جالسة مع بعضها تلقمش من جبل الرز الموضوع أمامها، وضع أذنه على باب غرفة الجلوس وسمع حديثهم بوضوح. كانوا "يركبون مقلاتنا" ويقولون أننا هبل ومساطيل وبلا شخصية وبلا مخ..."

Trump on Islam

So basically, Trump and his clique believe that Islam is an evil and dangerous religion, but that Wahhabiyyah is a peaceful religion.  Trump wants all Muslims to follow Wahhabiyyah in order to stem out fanaticism and extremism in the region. That should work.  

Who can spread moderation, democracy, and human rights more than those there clowns?


Sunday, May 21, 2017

And then they all gathered and worshipped the lamp.


Investigative reporting from Bloomberg News

Bloomberg News White House correspondent provides investigative reporting:
Jennifer Jacobs‏Verified account @JenniferJJacobs 9h9 hours ago
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"Room where Trump will give his big speech on terrorism to 54 Arab & Islamic nations is stunning--theater chairs, crystal chandeliers, snacks"

What US media calls "Pan-Arab media" is nothing but Saudi regime media

Wikileaks: How Saudi regime controls Arab media.

Analysis of Saudi-US relations

"What emerged as a veritable love fest between the two governments"

Another propaganda piece about Saudi regime: this time in the Boston Globe

"Reforms that seem obvious to Westerners, such as allowing women to drive, come slowly in this absolute monarchy. As one woman, a textile artist, put it when asked about the prospect for reforms: “It’s like a glass of water with a layer of mud at the bottom. Each time you add another level of fresh water, the glass becomes clearer.”"  Official Saudi regime propagandists were circulating this piece.

Ben Hubbard is going to wind up running a Saudi Information Office somewhere in the world, I predict

Another apologetic puff piece by Ben Hubbard about Saudi regime.  He never manages to find one Saudi person who is critical of the regime, and if he is to interview an expert, it is always someone apologetic about the regime.  

Saudi regime media praises Melania Trump


First Lady of Saudi Arabia

The joke being told on Arab social media: that First Lady of the US entered the royal palace in Saudi Arabia and saw 155 women. She asked them who they were?  They answered: we are the First Lady of Saudi Arabia.

Those too were awarded the Order of Abdul-`Aziz




Yeah. Yeah. Obama raised hell about human rights violations in Gulf countries

Ben Rhodes (@brhodes)
Really undercuts US credibility when it looks like we only raise human rights issues for geopolitical purposes twitter.com/peterbakernyt/…

Is this Saudi lobby director making threats to the US about JASTA?

Watch this carefully.  He basically says that if JASTA is passed Muslims will get angry and join terrorist organizations and strike at the US.  It is a direct threat, it seems to me.

Look who is now pretending to be for human rights?

Samantha Power (@SamanthaJPower)
For a country whose attacks on civilians in Yemen -- and inability to learn from mistakes -- have been devastating to human lifetwitter.com/presssec/statu…

There is nothing quiet about GCC repression: Western media makes it quiet by not covering it

"As Trump visits, Gulf states seen quietly curbing opposition".
Reuters is notorious in succumbing to Saudi pressures, and in switching correspondents at the orders of Saudi government.  

They hate Islam but they love Wahhabiyyah

Bannon seated next to the descendants of Muhammad ibn Al-Wahab.

Moments before Trump arrived, Saudi King asked that his shoes be replaced


It has to be said: Lebanese journalists are far more extreme in their subservience and obedience to oil royals than Saudi journalists


Rima Maktabi (@rimamaktabi)
Oil, women n Yemen at a press conference by Princess Reema Bint Bandar and Dr. Basma Al Omair. A precedence that #Saudi women give presserspic.twitter.com/MX6eScWI0O

Afaf Kanafani died. She was 99.

To all my students who met her and loved her, I am sad to report that Lebanese-Palestinian-American writer, Fay Afaf Kanafani died the other day. I first met Afaf maybe around late 1990s, when I still lived in Berkeley. She called me one day, and asked me to speak about Palestine to a group of Arab and Jewish women who met in San Francisco and discussed foreign policy. We chatted on the phone and she sounded very young. She then asked me to pick her up at her place in Oakland, and then we would go together to San Francisco. I was astonished when she answered the door, as she looked so much older than what she sounded on the phone: and I realized that her group was a group of retired older women. As soon as I met her in person, she asked me if I knew of a Professor Kanafani at UC, Berkeley, who taught in the engineering department. I said that I did not know him but that I have heard negative things about him: that he would refuse to speak Arabic with Arab students and would tell them: we are in America, and we have to speak English. She said: oh, that is my son. Tactless me, as usual. I addressed her group and we talked about her experience living in Lebanon and working in the administration of Lebanese University (Lebanon is so small, that I later discovered that she worked with my cousin Shadya Alayli). Afaf called me often and invited me to eat Lebanese food, but I never went. But she did show me the pictures of her late husband, Fu'ad (her second husband, the love of her life). She then invited me to her book party at UC, Berkeley when her book, Nadia: Captive of Hope was released. She also established a scholarship fund for women working on Middle East women topics. I went and saw her being very happy, and she introduced me to two of her three sons. Her granddaughter was present and she read excerpts of the book. I never saw Afaf more happy. I read the book and contents and the ending (especially the part about the horrific experience that she and her (second) husband were subjected to in Lebanon during the war) distressed me a great deal. I called her in tears that night, and she comforted me, telling me that she was OK, now and that she never let what she went through to influence her or to derail her life plans. The book was rather original but very painful (to read and to write--I am sure): it was the first book by an Arab who talked candidly about being sexually molested by her father, and the sexual assaults that maids at the home were subjected to by her father and brother. She also spoke about physical and sexual abuse at the hand of her first husband, when she lived in Palestine. Her family married her off in the 1930s, and she moved to Palestine with her new (terrible) husband. Her experience in Palestine and witnessing An-Nakbah made her a lifelong activist for Palestine. The book was very moving and I added it to the list of books of 1st person narratives in my Gender and Sexuality in the Middle East class. And then--I forgot who: a student suggested that we invite her to class to a potluck and discuss her book with her. A student volunteered to pick her up from Oakland and there began a tradition in my Gender class: that Afaf would be invited to a potluck in my class to discuss her book (Valerie Marleau was one of her volunteer drivers one year, and she promised me to provide her with bathroom breaks during the long trip to Oakland). It happened every semester, or every year when the Gender class was being offered annually and not every semester. She was so lively and had such charm, and she always dressed (very Lebanese) very elegantly to those events. Students always observed that I was always protective of her during those meetings, and that I tried to shield her from tough questions. I was always happy to see her, and students often stayed for hours with her to talk about her life. She was so positive about life and about the future. She told us that her sons (especially two of the three) were furious with her about the book, and that none were happy about it. But two stopped talking to her. But she was not in any way feeling guilty about that: she knew that she did not do anything wrong and that it was their problem, not hers. Her visits to my class ended only five years ago: she told me bluntly: I am too old now to make that trip. She also would tell me about her computer art work which she got into. She was 99: I wished that lived to be 100 and more. Over the years, I became more critical of the book, from a gender and class perspective. She once saw me at a conference (where she met dear friend Lama Dajani who was thrilled to meet her, and I did not know that Lama had read her book and was deeply moved by it). Afaf pressed me if there was anything I did not like about the book, and I only gave her one example, and we discussed that. Many students of mine here on Facebook have met her and got to like her.
PS Jenn-Jarred Neal took this picture us back in 2004, in one of those potlucks).

Saturday, May 20, 2017

About Ivanka

This Saudi journalist has a point.  He says: "I think that the interaction regarding Trump's daughter is not sexual frenzy, as some are portraying it.  In reality, there is nothing in this political and economic event on which we have an honest opinion except this".

عبدالرحمن الشهري‏ @Abdurhmanshehri 1h1 hour ago
"أعتقد أن التفاعل مع بنت ترمب ليس سعاراً جنسيا كما يصوره البعض، الحقيقة أنه لاشيء في هذا الحدث السياسي والاقتصادي نملك رأيا صادقاً فيه سواها"

Royal Saudi Sleaze: ogling


Notice that Lebanese journalists in Saudi media sound different on Twitter than in Saudi regime media

Read here

When anti-Semitism is in the US camp

Trump will give a speech on in Saudi Arabia، and the fanatic Jewish (who wrote the muslims controversial bans) will write it.

PS This person was a media officer of Free Syrian Army and is a Syrian rebel "journalist" (one of those "activist-journalist")

As if American presidents never praised despots before Trump

Kenneth Roth (@KenRoth)
Tillerson says he won't promote human rights, but does Trump really need to undermine rights by praising autocrats? bit.ly/2rmmb9wpic.twitter.com/cYEvOvcs9a

US ambassador summons Jordanian royal Zeid bin Ra'ad and told him to ignore Israeli violations

He said: as you order.  Not that he has been vocal at all against Israeli violations.

In this video, King Fahd says that the right-wing president of "nationalist" China told him that Islam is most effective to combat communism

Watch here