Links for Jan.05.10

akhbare-rooz (iranian political Bulletin) | List of organizations considered "subversive" by Iranian ministry of inteligence [in Farsi]. ✪ The Daily Star - The Gaza scorecard, one year later | Rami Khouri. ✪ Israel approves east Jerusalem building project | Yet another new settlement. ✪ Library of Congress on Islam in Early America « Anonymous Arabist وين الناس | Fascinating. ✪ Tweet freedom | On Twitter activism in Egypt, unfortunately confuses for ✪ Cairo's US Embassy is Worse by Far | Mamoun Fandy: "The embassy has become an embodiment of the meaning of disgracefulness in Cairo, in terms of people's behavior, rudeness, and impoliteness." ✪ gary's choices - The Decade's First Revolution? | Gary Sick on Iran. ✪ لا لحجب الإنترنت بالجزائر - Non à la censure de l'Internet en Algérie - No to Internet Censorship in Algeria Petition | Petition. ✪ Egyptian minister slams Al-Jazeera for 'instigating civil war' - Ynetnews | Over Gaza wall. ✪ Video: Gaza war: One year on, Palestinians struggle to rebuild life from the rubble | | ✪ CIA Bomber a Jihadi Blogger? — jihadica | Interesting background on Abu Dujana, as the bomber was allegedly known. ✪ Dear Metallica | Letter asking the metal band not to perform in Israel. ✪ Free Barghouti Now - Haaretz | OK. ✪ The Daily Nuisance | News From The Frontier | New online site from Israel/Palestine ✪ Three days in Iran - The Big Picture - | Great pics of Iranian protests.
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Links for Dec.08.09 to Dec.09.09

Les voix de la nation : chanson, arabité et caméléonisme linguistique | Culture et politique arabes | Very interesting post on Arab singers adopting accents and styles of different countries -- has great clip of Abdel Halim Hafez trying out a traditional Kuwaiti song.

✩ Comment l’Algérie a exporté sa « sale guerre » au Mali : Algérie-Maroc | How Algeria exported its dirty war to Mali: AQIM conspiracies.

Fatwa Shopping « London Review Blog | On Nakheel and Islamic finance.

The women who guard other women in conservative Egypt | On female bodyguards.

Yemen’s afternoon high - Le Monde diplomatique | On the drug Qat.

US Congress frets over anti-Americanism on TV in Mideast | The leading inciter of anti-Americanism in the ME is Congress itself, when it keeps voting for wars for Israel.

Baladna English | New newspaper launched in Syria, but nothing on its site yet.

EU Action Plan on combating terrorism | Document on EU CT strategy.

What the US Elite Really Thinks About Israel « P U L S E | Most Council of Foreign Relations members think US favors Israel too much - v. interesting analysis of foreign policy expert poll by Jeffrey Blankfort.

‘The Battle for Israel’s Soul’ – Channel 4 on Jewish fundamentalism « P U L S E | British documentary on Jewish fundamentalism.

BBC News - Dubai crisis sparks job fears for migrant workers | On South Asians in Dubai. / Comment / Opinion - Israel must unpick its ethnic myth | Tony Judt.

The Interview Ha’aretz Doesn’t Want You To See « P U L S E | Interview Ali Abunimah not published by Haaretz.

Attention Christmas Shoppers: Top Ten Brands to Boycott | Sabbah Report | Brands to boycott at Christmas. / Middle East / Politics & Society - Egypt’s media warn ElBaradei off politics | On the campaign against ElBaradei.

✩ Flourishing Palestinian sex trade exposed in new report - Haaretz | Amira Hass: "Young Palestinian women are being forced to into prostitution in brothels, escort services, and private apartments in Ramallah and Jerusalem..."

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Gulf states targeted by BDS campaign

The BDS campaign is picking up steam:
Dubai: A pressure campaign targeted at Gulf states was launched in Occupied Jerusalem on Monday by a coalition of 170 Palestinian organisations urging Arab states to boycott companies complicit in Israel's expansion in the holy city. In a rare public pressure campaign, the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement in Palestine, a grouping of Palestinian civil society organisations, has turned its focus on the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), which is preparing to build a multi-billion dollar railway to link its six members. The BDS campaign has called on the GCC and its member states to shun French transport giants Alstom and Veolia, both of which are involved in the construction of the Jerusalem Light Rail (JLR), an Israeli project that is expected to link the eastern and western parts of Occupied Jerusalem as well as Jewish colonies on the West Bank. Critics say the JLR will hinder Palestinian aspirations to have occupied East Jerusalem as a capital of a future Palestinian state. Unaware The BDS campaign has proven successful in Europe, where companies have excluded the two transport companies from tenders and divested from them, leading to a loss of $7 billion (Dh25.69 billion) to $8 billion in opportunity cost, according to campaigners. "Despite these important achievements in the West, no Arab state, especially in the Gulf, has to date excluded Alstom or Veolia from bidding for their public contracts," read a press release issued by the movement yesterday. The two companies are now facing a lawsuit in France filed by Palestine Liberation Organisation and French advocacy group Association France-Palestine Solidarité for their activities in Occupied Jerusalem.
Now instead of the silly anti-normalization campaign in Egypt, kept alive by dinosaurs over non-issues, let's see a national movement against selling gas to Israel and joining the BDS strategy.
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Links for 10.29.09 to 10.31.09

Daily News Egypt - In Focus: The Brotherhood Crisis | Khalil al-Anani's take on the Brothers' troubles. ✪ Frontlines: Who will be the next leader of Egypt? | Front Lines - the week that was | Jerusalem Post | Funny how much traction Amr Moussa's comments have made in Israel, where they remember vividly his criticism of Israel. ✪ Is this the man to follow Mubarak as Egypt's next president? | World news | | On Amr Moussa. ✪ Powerful Islamic movement sees leadership struggle | On MB's woes. ✪ War and Peace | New blog from Rob of Arabic Media Shack, focusing on war, history and strategy. ✪ Lesson Unlearned | Foreign Policy | Nir Rosen says the 1983 attacks on Us Marines in Beirut was the fault of senior Reagan officials who intervened in Lebanon's civil war on the side of Christian militias. ✪ A Witness In Palestine | Anna Baltzer, Jewish-American pro-peace activist. ✪ A search engine with a mind on settlements | Antony Loewenstein | I'm switching to Bing, and I hate Microsoft: "Jewish Billionaire, Sergey Brin, one of the founders of Google, donated $1 million to the so-called Hebrew national Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS) which heavily encourages Jews around the world to immigrate to Israel and the United States. The organization is one of the biggest supporters of illegal Jewish settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories." ✪ In Afghan Village, French Outreach Yields an Ambush - | On French Foreign legion in Afghanistan: "Some Legionnaires, like a pensive Italian art history graduate, had enlisted for adventure. Others, like a thin Estonian, signed up to escape potentially lethal problems at home. The Legion wipes out minor criminal records and provides new identities and a French passport in exchange for a five-year contract. "Believe me, I feel safer here in Afghanistan," the Estonian said." ✪ Alaa Al-Aswany: When women are sinners in the eyes of extremists - Commentators, Opinion - The Independent | On Somalia and extremism, among other things. ✪ BBC NEWS | Technology | Egypt seeks ethical mobile users | Code says "don't annoy people by having loud conversations", "choose non-annoying ringtone", etc. Akhiran! Wonder if it says, "Don't sit at qahwa trying different ringtones for an hour" or "Answer phone quickly or put it on silent rather than stare at it for 10 rings". ✪ Squaring the circle and erasing the margins | Good commentary on the recent J Street conference. ✪ YouTube - ‫لقاء اليوم - ريتشارد غولدستون‬‎ | Khaled Daoud interviews Richard Goldstone on al-Jazeera. ✪ Lebanon: Israel arranged Katyusha fire to keep tensions high - Haaretz - Israel News | Suleiman was praised by West before, will he be listened to now: "Lebanese President Michel Suleiman on Thursday suggested that Israel had arranged for collaborators in his country to fire Katyusha rockets at the Galilee earlier this week, in a bid to keep tensions high in the area." ✪ 'Israel's Self-Described Greatest Concern' - Jeffrey Goldberg | More poisonous Jeffrey Goldberg: anti-Zionist Jews are not real jews, they're anti-Zionists with Jewish parents; the Leveretts are apologists for Tehran. No sense of irony here about Golberg's sycophancy towards Bibi Netanyahu here. ✪ West Bank land belongs to Jews, says Israeli army judge | These people are insane: ""But over the past quarter of a century, the Israeli army lawyer and then military judge at the forefront of arguably the most significant battle in the occupied West Bank – the confiscation of Palestinian land for the construction of Jewish settlements – has come to see himself as in service of a higher duty. In an unusually frank interview, which offers insights into the melding of religion, politics and law that underpins land seizures in the occupied territories, Agassi has laid out his belief that Israel has a biblical claim to territory beyond its borders and that he, even as an immigrant, has a right to live on it when those born there do not. `When we [Israelis] say that this is a political conflict, then we lose the battle,` he told the Guardian, adding that it should be remembered that the ancient land of Israel is `given to us by the Bible, not by some United Nations`. ✪ Tens of Thousands of Palestinian Children at Risk of Forced Displacement in OPT | "Whilst most attention has focused on home demolitions and community evictions, new research by the children`s charity Save The Children has revealed intolerable living conditions are driving families to abandon their land and homes, even though most will be worse off once they do so."
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Links for 09.17.09 to 09.19.09

A few day's worth...

Orientalism’s Wake: The Ongoing Politics of a Polemic | Very nice collection of essays on Edward Said's "Orientalism" from a variety of supporters, critics, academics including Daniel Varisco, Robert Irwin, Roger Owen, etc.
The Sources of Islamic Revolutionary Conduct | I have not read in detail this small book by a US Air Force analyst, but scanning through it I see rather odd choices. For instance there are long chapters comparing Christianity and modern secularism to the Islamist outlook, except that it's never quite clear whether the latter means the outlook of engaged Islamist activists or ordinary Muslims. There is also copious quoting from Sayyid Qutb's "Milestones" as if it was representative of all Islamic thinking. Someone should give this a detailed look (and I'd be happy to post the result.) [PDF]
Al-Ahram Weekly | Egypt | A clean break | On Cairo's garbage collection crisis.
Irving Kristol, Godfather of Conservatism, Dies - Obituary (Obit) - | Leaving behind a disastrous intellectual, social, economic and political legacy: alleged liberalism on social issues that shirks from real change, supply-side economics, and of course an imperial war doctrine.
Are Morocco And Algeria Gearing Up For Arms Race? « A Moroccan About the world around him
Big mouth - The National Newspaper | Bernard Heykal on how the strength of al-Qaeda is impossible. Which makes sense, at least if you try to do it from the Bin Laden tapes as all the silly pseudo-analysis of last week showed.
Ikhwanweb :: The Muslim Brotherhood Official English Website | Very much like the new look of the Muslim Brothers' English website, which I hadn't checked in a while. They have a very useful "today's news" feature that can also be used for archives by date.
Al-Ahram Weekly | Economy | Depleting Egypt's reserves | A good article with details on the Egypt-Israel gas deal and why it may be a bad idea in terms of resource management, never mind political and financial sense.
Al-Qaradawi's Fatwa Asharq Alawsat Newspaper (English) | The alleged liberal paid by intolerant Islamists in Riyadh attacks the alleged moderate Islamist paid by Doha:

A news item reported in the Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper revealed that Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi had issued a fatwa prohibiting Iraqis from acquiring US citizenship on the grounds that this is the nationality of an occupier nation. However this fatwa has nothing to do with the reality on the ground, and contains more political absurdity then it does religious guidance. Sheikh al-Qaradawi himself is an Egyptian who possesses Qatari nationality, which was given to him after he opposed the peace agreement between Egypt and Israel. However when an Israeli office was opened in Doha, al-Qaradawi did not renounce his Qatari nationality.

Freed Iraqi shoe thrower tells of torture in jail | World news |

| "His brother Uday told Reuters: "Thanks be to God that Muntazer has seen the light of day. I wish Bush could see our happiness. When President Bush looks back and turns the pages of his life, he will see the shoes of Muntazer al-Zaidi on every page.""
BAE to axe 1,100 jobs and close site | Business | | So Tony Blair quashed the Yamama inquiry to save jobs (or so he says) but BAe still carries out layoffs?
Seinfeld, Sacha Baron Cohen and Natalie Portman slam Toronto Film Festival protest - Haaretz - Israel News| Some stars come to Israel's side in the tiff over TIFF.
GDC | Economist Conferences| Economist infographic shows public debt around the world. / Middle East / Politics & Society - Investors seek to revive faded glory of Cairo | On investment in Downtown Cairo properties and plans for gentrification. Look out for another article on this soon.
No concrete proof that Iran has or has had nuclear programme – UN atomic watchdog | Just a reminder that the press reports have spinned things wrongly - this comes straight from the UN: "17 September 2009 – Refuting a recent media report, the United Nations International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) today reiterated that the body has no concrete proof that Iran has or has ever had a nuclear weapons programme."
Egypt Islamic Authority Says Women Can Wear Trousers - International News | News of the World | Middle East News | Europe News - | The world is going to hell -- what next, capris?
BBC NEWS | Middle East | 'Many killed' in Yemen air raid | Serious turn in Yemen's trouble -- bombing a refugee camp!?

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Resistance to Israel showcase at Toronto Film Festival

The Toronto International Film Festival is in the news for its decision to feature Israeli film--and the city of Tel Aviv--prominently in its program. Many artists and film-makers signed a letter of protest. 
Signatories to an open letter called The Toronto Declaration: No Celebration of Occupation – among them the filmmaker Ken Loach, the actors Jane Fonda and Danny Glover, the singer David Byrne, the Canadian writer Naomi Klein, the US playwrights Eve Ensler and Wallace Shawn, and the Palestinian filmmaker Elia Suleiman – complained that the selection contained no Palestinian filmmakers and linked the programme to an Israeli government promotional campaign. (The festival insists the selection was made independently.) “We protest that TIFF, whether intentionally or not, has become complicit in the Israeli propaganda machine,” they stated in the declaration, which was also signed by several Israeli filmmakers and by the Canadian director John Greyson, who withdrew his short film, Covered, from TIFF. 
You can read the full letter here. As it mentions, the Israeli government has devoted considerable resources since the Gaza war--and the international condemnation that followed--to a PR campaign that focuses heavily on cultural events to rehabilitate its image. You can learn more about what strikes me as the increasingly dynamic movement for an academic and cultural boycott of Israel by going to the website of PACBI.
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Links for 08.30.09 to 09.01.09

BlackRock divests from Leviev, an ‘NYT’ advertiser (and guess who doesn’t report it) | "Note that the NYT’s op-ed page has run more than a dozen jewelry ads by now from Lev Leviev, and they’ve never mentioned anything about the campaign against him." ✪ Why Barack Obama's energy-dependence talk is just demagoguery - By Prince Turki al-Faisal | Foreign Policy | A warning from Saudi's Prince Turki against "energy independence"? ✪ In Egypt's Desert, an Oasis Blooms Anew - | Yet another article focusing on Siwa's ecolodges, owned by Mounir Neamatalla of EQI. No mention of the talk in Siwa of how Neamatalla has acquired much prime land in the area, though. ✪ Memo From Cairo - Hints of Pluralism in Egyptian Religious Debates - | Slackman on the perennial "what is permissible in a conservative society" debate. I think what's important here is to recognize the role of private media (several owned and at times run by outright secularists) is offering platforms that is outside the conservative mainstream. This is Naguib Sawiris' explicit project with OTV; but it won't make much of a dent until you liberalize Hertzian (non-satellite) TV and radio. ✪ Morocco and its king: Popular but prickly | The Economist | On 10 years of M6. ✪ Riding the sea at Gaza - The National Newspaper | On surfing in Gaza. ✪ Untold Stories: Afghanistan: Vetting the Embeds | Nir Rosen on a PR company's report on him when he tried to embed in Afghanistan.
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Links for 08.22.09 to 08.30.09

Eric Hobsbawm's On Empire: when Hobsbawm writes, Angry Arab reads carefully | I just read this book and completely agree with Angry Arab's praise. ✪ Global BDS Movement | Website of the Boycott - Divestment - Sanctions movement. ✪ How settlements in the West Bank are creating a new reality, brick by brick | World news | The Guardian | Good story on the settlements by Rory McCarthy. ✪ Boycott Israel -- | An Israeli's call. ✪ Privatization by other means: How the Public Transport sector was “murdered” at 3arabawy | How five years ago, eager to justify the privatization of public sector transport, the government stopped making spare parts available for Cairo's buses. Outrageous and worthy of more digging. ✪ Important Film | A cartoon for children against sexual harassment. ✪ Israeli watchdog sees no settlement freeze | "The construction of settlements in the occupied West Bank is continuing 'as usual', a group reported, despite the Israeli government's announcement that it has stopped initiating new housing projects." ✪ Ramadan under siege « In Gaza | On the pauperization of Gaza: there is food, because of the tunnels, but only for the few who can afford it. ✪ Mehdi Karoubi, un mollah atypique et réformateur, devenu le porte-parole de la contestation en Iran - Asie-Pacifique - Le | On the other reformist candidate in Iran. ✪ مدونة محمد بن عبد الكريم الخطابي | A new blog dedicated to the Moroccan anti-colonial hero Abdel Krim.
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Links for 07.21.09 to 07.22.09

جريدة الراية -مجرد سؤال .. ماذا تريد القاهرة من دارفور المنتدى | Qatari columnist complains "what does Egypt want from Darfur?", says Egypt is trying to start a separate track for negotiations even though Qatar's track working well. The Egyptians certainly hate seeing Qatar getting busy in their near-abroad. The List: The Middle East's Most Powerful Spooks | Foreign Policy | It's missing a few... will try to work on a complete list. Also not sure whether Assef Shakwat is still at the top of his game in Damascus. Facebook | Protest Facebook's categorisation of Israeli settlements as "Israel" | Tell Facebook to correct itself. From gods to garbage dwellers | GlobalPost | On Egypt's cats. Israeli funding angers filmmaker | "ENGLISH filmmaker Ken Loach has withdrawn his film Looking for Eric from the Melbourne International Film Festival because the festival receives funding from the Israeli Government."
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Links for 07.06.09 to 07.07.09

Daily News Egypt - AUC Launches School Of Business, A First In The Region | School will teach taking over daddy's business, finding suitable spouse is less challenging academic departments for family business alliance, wasta 101. Royalist politics in Morocco: The king’s friend | The Economist | On the rise of Fouad Ali al-Himma and his hostile takeover of Moroccan politics. Atheo News: Belgian campaign forces financial group to cancel settlement loans | Another small victory towards BDS: "The Belgian-French financial group Dexia has announced it will no longer finance Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories through its Israeli branch, Dexia Israel. This is the result of a months-long campaign in Belgium, supported by non-governmental organizations, political parties, local authorities, trade unions and other organizations. Dexia's management has stated that financing Israeli settlements is indeed against the bank's code of ethics and thusly, it will stop giving loans for this activity." Outsider Sir John Sawers appointed new head of MI6 - Times Online | More on John Sawers, new head of MI6 and HM's former ambassador to Cairo. Egypt arrests al-Qaida cell - | Multi-national operation to target Israel-Egypt gas pipeline. DC Comics' superheroes join forces with characters inspired by Allah | World news | The Guardian | DC Comics (Batman, Superman) to team up with Kuwait's Teshkeel Comics ("The 99" - Islamic superheroes)
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Links for 06.28.09 to 06.29.09

Almasry Alyoum: Israel above all Constitutions | Magdi el-Gallad has a good column today about a German dignitary, lecturing Egyptians on secularism, refusing to answer a question about Israel's self-definition as a Jewish state. Mondoweiss: 'I think this is the most emotional event I've ever done' (Naomi Klein in Ramallah) | Philip Weiss has a recording of a Naomi Klein speech in Palestine, in support of the Boycott - Sanctions - Divestment (BDS) movement. Mauritanian political rivals reach accord; Abdellahi resigns: | A resolution in sight:
Mauritania formed a transitional national unity government on Friday (June 26th) in Nouakchott, Journal Tahalil reported. International mediator Habib Kabachi was quoted as saying that the rival political poles had successfully reached "an accord on all points". In the presence of Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade, deposed president Sidi Mohamed Ould Cheikh Abdellahi officially resigned and signed the decree for the installation of a new Mauritanian cabinet. Mohamed Ould Moulaye Laghdaf was chosen to lead the transitional government. After signing the decree, Abdellahi called for unity among all Mauritanians and affirmed that the country would hold presidential elections next month.
Worth remembering that this was a mediation that did not significantly involve the West. Iran's Post-Election Uprising: Hopes & Fears Revealed | The story of Iran's elections, from the dissenters' viewpoint, told in the same comic book form as Marjane Satrapi's Persepolis. Very, very cool. Mousavi remains defiant – Tehran Bureau | Letter from Mousavi to Guardian Council calls for annulment of elections on the grounds that electoral law was violated multiple times.
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