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Ed Webb

Netanyahu campaign video: A victory for the Left means an ISIS invasion | +972 Magazine - 0 views

  • The video opens with bearded men traveling in a pickup truck, flying the black IS flag with its distinctive white calligraphy. The driver of the truck pulls up beside another car and honks for the other driver’s attention. The IS guy in the passenger seat leans out the window and asks him, in Hebrew with a comically exaggerated Arabic accent, “Hey bro, how do you get to Jerusalem?” The driver of the car shouts back (in Israeli Hebrew), “Take a left!”

    Then there’s the slogan, in red Hebrew letters emblazoned on a gray, bullet-marked background: “THE LEFT WILL SURRENDER TO TERROR.”

    One of the IS guys fires celebratory bullets skyward and the driver peels off, ostensibly in the direction of Jerusalem, as they all shout exultantly in Arabic, “Shukran, ya ward!” (“Thanks, bro!”). The camera pans briefly to the rear of the truck to focus on a popular Israeli bumper sticker that reads, “Anyone but Bibi.”

    The tagline: “It’s us, or them. Only the Likud. Only Netanyahu.”

    The snatch of Arabic rap lyrics is excerpted from a song by an Amman-based Palestinian group called Torabyeh: “I want to be buried in the same cemetery that my grandfather was buried in. And since my childhood I’ve been dreaming to be a soldier and as time passed I discovered who I want to belong to: Mahmoud Abbas, Fatah, Hamas or…Jabha …”

  • Netanyahu has for years been promoting his message about the threat to Israeli security posed by Islamic extremism, never missing an opportunity to list Hamas along with the Islamic State, Al Qaeda, Boko Haram and even Fatah, mixing them all up so that the average Israeli Jew reflexively associates Arabs and Islam with terror. Like all accomplished populists, he understands the power of repeating a mendacious slogan, and he is an expert at exploiting popular fears and racism.
  • The popular Israeli narrative is so reactionary and confused these days, that if one were to walk the streets asking average citizens if there was a difference between Fatah and Al Qaeda, most people would be hard-pressed to answer coherently. Go ahead and try to explain to an Israeli audience that Hamas is a small offshoot of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, that it is basically a technocratic political party, that it is extremely unpopular in Gaza and that it has nothing to do with expansionist jihadism. Try telling people that if Israel would lift the siege on Gaza, disgruntled Palestinians in Gaza would probably kick Hamas out of power immediately. Just try. The best you can hope for is that you’d be told that you’re a traitor who should go live in Gaza.
Ed Webb

Gulf states launch joint command to counter Isis and Iran - FT.com - 0 views

  • Bahrain’s foreign minister says Gulf states are launching a joint military command based in Saudi Arabia to counter threats from militant jihadis and Shia Iran.
  • Sheikh Khalid al-Khalifa said the joint command force, which analysts say will eventually have several hundred thousand soldiers under its control, would begin military operations after a Gulf Co-operation Council summit due to take place later this month in Qatar.
  • “Look at the fragmentation in Iraq and the abominable situation in Syria,” Sheikh Khalid told the Financial Times in an interview. “If Afghanistan was a primary school for terrorists, then Syria and Iraq are a university for them – these are serious threats and lots of people from our country have gone and joined them.”
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  • Sheikh Khalid, a member of the Bahraini royal family, said the new military body, first mooted two years ago, would start “working from now” to co-ordinate against what he said was a growing threat from Iran and unrest in Yemen.
  • According to the agreement, Qatar is to match Saudi and Emirati financial aid to the Egyptian government and is to end support for the Muslim Brotherhood, which Sheikh Khalid accused of carrying out terrorist attacks in Egypt.

    Qatar’s powerful media empire, centred around Al Jazeera television, is also expected to change its editorial stance, said Sheikh Khalid, which will “stop Al Jazeera putting bad coverage on events in Egypt or anti-Egyptian government coverage”.

  • The Qatari government declined to comment on the agreement.
  • he conceded that Qatar may come back into the GCC fold “step by step”, and cited a “very unhelpful” report broadcast on Al Jazeera English on Bahrain’s parliamentary elections last month.
Ed Webb

London's Finsbury Park Mosque detains journalist - Al Arabiya News - 0 views

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    It's never good when a journalist becomes the story.
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