Sit like an effendi and eat!

I am loving that expression, courtesy of Rabbi Ovadia Youssef:

The sole purpose of non-Jews is to serve Jews, according to Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, the head of Shas’s Council of Torah Sages and a senior Sephardi adjudicator.

“Goyim were born only to serve us. Without that, they have no place in the world – only to serve the People of Israel,” he said in his weekly Saturday night sermon on the laws regarding the actions non-Jews are permitted to perform on Shabbat.

According to Yosef, the lives of non-Jews in Israel are safeguarded by divinity, to prevent losses to Jews.

“In Israel, death has no dominion over them... With gentiles, it will be like any person – they need to die, but [God] will give them longevity. Why? Imagine that one’s donkey would die, they’d lose their money.

This is his servant... That’s why he gets a long life, to work well for this Jew,” Yosef said.

“Why are gentiles needed? They will work, they will plow, they will reap. We will sit like an effendi and eat.

That is why gentiles were created,” he added.

Oh well, back to work for me — the spiritual leader of one of Israel's most important political parties would have it no other way.

The Infidel (trailer)

This film, The Infidel, is about a British muslim fundie who finds out he was adopted and that his biological parents were Jewish. It looks potentially quite funny, although I'm not a fan of director David Baddiel generally speaking. Chris Morris, the genius comedian behind the classic fake news series Brass Eye, is also making a comedy about British Muslim fundamentalists called Four Lions.

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.

FT.com / 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.

FT.com / 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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Links for 10.18.09 to 10.20.09

Egypt's Moussa does not rule out presidency run: report| International| Reuters | Moussa throws his hat in the ring, sort of, and does not discount a Gamal Mubarak presidency either. ✪ Report: Israeli cafe boycotts Turkish coffee amid tensions | Because Turkey's cancellation of joint military exercises with Israel... hilarious. ✪ Can Egypt protect its Copts? | Khaled Diab | Comment is free | guardian.co.uk | On growing sectarian tensions, Hassan and Morqos, etc. ✪ Al-Ahram Weekly | Features | Time to give back | "According to economist Abdel-Khaleq Farouk, Egyptian business people spent more than an estimated LE300 million in 2008 on what he described as "publicising their provocative and socially irresponsible lifestyles," with money spent by business people on social programmes not exceeding LE50 million per year." ✪ Arab League says US donations used to finance settlements - Yahoo! News | This should be pursued much more aggressively. ✪ Al-Ahram Weekly | Front Page | Obituary: A beautiful mind Mohamed El-Sayed Said (1950-2009) | Obit of the late Egyptian scholar, leftist and founding Kifaya member. ✪ Khalil Bendib interviews Shlomo Sand « P U L S E | Author of "The Invention of the Jewish People." ✪ Orascom Is Building Hotel Of Doom | In North Korea...
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Israel's Religious Right

From Israel’s Religious Right and the Peace Process by Nicolas Pelham:
"Yet internally, the settler movement is -- in the words of a former West Bank army commander -- ‘Israel’s most powerful lobby.’ Fearful of additional Amona-style faceoffs with Zionism’s foremost ideologues, few Israeli politicians dare confront the movement. It is growing fast: The drift of the secular-minded out of the West Bank (though not East Jerusalem) has been more than compensated for by the movement’s burgeoning hard core of national-religious activists, who from the outset have promoted Jewish settlement throughout the biblical Land of Israel as a sacred duty. In addition, the movement has coopted Israel’s ultra-Orthodox and traditionally non-Zionist communities, desperate for room for their large families. In so doing, the settlers have jettisoned the slowest-growing sector of Israeli society, secular Jews, and conjoined the two fastest to their project. The West Bank settler population, again excluding occupied East Jerusalem, has tripled from 105,000 on the eve of the Oslo agreement in 1992 to over 300,000 today.  The population expansion has given the settler movement an ever more religious hue. Ma’ale Ephraim, a settlement on the cliffs above the Jordan Valley whose secular population largely wants out, has opened a hesder yeshiva, a school combining religious study and army training. And in the valley below a national-religious community has entirely taken over Yitav, a once secular settlement. The caravan sites littering the West Bank are also markers of growing national-religious strength in the settlement enterprise and the readiness of the national-religious to put ideology before comfort. In the vicinity of Nokdim near Bethlehem, for example, 30 couples have pitched mobile homes on the hilltop, the latest influx turning a community that once had equal numbers of secular and pious families into a predominantly religious settlement. The Gush Etzion bloc of which Nokdim is a part has no secular school. Like others, it teaches that the Bible, as a local teacher puts it, is a God-given land registry. Prompted by cheap housing and subsidized mortgages, ultra-Orthodox population growth is even starker, particularly in the overspills near Jerusalem. Beitar Illit, overlooking Bethlehem, has grown from scrub brush to a town of 40,000 in little over a decade. Erected on hilltops west of Jerusalem in 1996, Modi’in Illit is already the largest settlement and is projected to grow to 150,000 people by 2020. Even so, building fails to keep pace with demand, leading families to move ever deeper into the West Bank. The influx has replaced ultra-Orthodoxy’s traditional detachment from the Arab-Israeli conflict with attachment to the land that is now home. Ultra-Orthodox notables are as vocal as the national-religious in protesting any freeze on construction. Deputy Prime Minister Eli Yishai, leader of the Shas Party, has called for rebuilding the four far-flung West Bank settlements from which Israel decamped in 2005.  The demographic weight of pious Jews has increased inside Israel as well as in the settlements. Goaded to multiply by their rabbis, the religious marry younger and have more children than their secular counterparts, fostering three generations in the time that secular Israelis raise two. ‘Normally one must not delay marriage beyond the age of 20,’ advises Yaakov Yosef, head of the Hazon Yaakov yeshiva and son of Shas spiritual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef. From 2007 polling data, the Israel Democracy Institute estimates that 8 percent of Israel’s Jewish population aged over 50 and 32 percent of the population aged between 18 and 30 are either ultra-Orthodox or national-religious. By contrast, says the Institute, totally secular Jewish Israelis have declined from 23 percent to 17 percent of the population in a decade. Numbering about 1.5 million, the religious Jews in Israel proper provide a rear base of moral, electoral and logistical support for the vanguard in the settlements. ‘We have more followers in the army inside the Green Line than in the West Bank,’ says Yisrael Ariel, assistant to Rabbi Yitzhak Ginsburgh, whose militant sermons attract both an ultra-Orthodox and a national-religious audience. ‘They help us obtain weapons.’ "
Read the whole of this excellent overview of the settler-religious right-state, and while you're at it the editors of MERIP have a smart take on the Obama Nobel Peace prize
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Links for 09.21.09 to 09.22.09

Ethnic Ashkenazim Against Zionist Israel: In Re: The persistence of the Massad question | The campaign against Joseph Massad starts anew. ✪ Why Algeria’s Jihadist defectors don’t matter « Maghreb Politics Review | On Maghteb jihadists' recantations, focusing on Algeria. ✪ Sirgo’s Labyrinth | New English-language Egypt-based blog. ✪ The Next Minister Of Culture Will Be… | Potential candidates to succeed Farouq Hosni as Egyptian Minister of Culture: enter Gamal Mubarak's electoral strategist, Muhammad Kamal. ✪ The NDP synagogue | On a Jewish temple in Heliopolis being used as ruling party office. ✪ feeling more hate in Jerusalem | More insane views on Obama from Israelis.
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