Western standards of Palestinian resistance

Yet again another Israeli assault on an Arab country exposes the biases and racism of Western governments, media, and human rights organizations. Human rights organizations, particularly Human Rights Watch, have become the most culpable because they now serve as a media/propaganda arm of the Israeli terrorist army. We know how those things work, as soon as a Western NGO with a Middle East scope is formed, pro-Israeli groups (openly and not conspiratorially) rush in with their funds to control the agenda of the organization. Internal memos that I had revealed on my blog before show that the director of Human Rights Watch was mightily concerned about not offending pro-Israel sources of funding. Thus, think tanks, media groups, and human rights organization fall under the spell of pro-Israeli agendas and money.

Unsettling the Israeli settlers

In order to confront the tangled web of colonization and begin the indispensable process of decolonization there must first be an acknowledgement of the historical coloniality of power which existed behind the creation of Israel and which continues to exist today so as to advance the state of Israel – those with positions of privilege, who progress the development of the occupation and the colonial-settler state itself must be disturbed. It is not enough to flirt with matchsticks beneath passports. Nor is it enough to cry “not in my name!”. The colonial mentality must be deconstructed. The Israeli settlers must be unsettled.

A conversation with a musician building Beirut

I’m hesitant to shave my beard at home. The electricity isn’t sticking to its usual rationing schedule, and we’re having sudden cuts throughout the day. This means I may be coerced into a fashion statement of asymmetrical facial grooming that I am not interested in.

What do Palestinians need to do to get Western media sympathy?

Basically we have learnt that for the Palestinians to attain Western media and human rights legitimacy and sympathy, they need to emulate Israeli tactics and methods according to those rules:

US show "Tyrant"'s novel plot to vilify Arabs

Our earliest intimate interaction with the foreign characters in Tyrant comes in the form of an aggressive sexual assault where we quickly learn that Bassam’s older brother Jamal is a sexual predator and philanderer in a scene featuring the first close encounter with an Arab woman. She is brutalized while her husband and small children wait outside, clearly able to hear the sounds.

Defying the art of being passive enough for murder to sound normal

A man threw a bomb at four people having their morning coffee in Tripoli last week because he thought God might like it. In the name of the subjective glee of the almighty, four people are injured and a city continues to die while its authorities are allowing extremists to set new vicious rules for the city. All our Arab cities are dying because we have been conditioned to become helpless throughout a history filled with inevitable defeat. We will continue to die because the people killing us have been conditioned that we’re okay with it, and we are yet to prove them otherwise.

A return to “The Good Spy”: Mustafa Zein responds

I was able to track down Mustafa Zein, who is a major character in Kai Bird’s “The Good Spy” and was a major source on the relationship between CIA’s Bob Ames and PLO’s Ali - Abu Hassan - Salameh (he was close to both and introduced them to one another). I introduced myself to Zein in the email two weeks ago as someone from the Lebanese city of Tyre (he also is from Tyre) and assumed that he must have known my father as he grew up in the city (it turned out that he knew of my father although Zein left Tyre to study in Saida at age 10). I asked him if I can interview him by phone but he declined on security grounds, but said that he would be willing to answer my written questions. I sent him a dozen questions but he answered only some of them. We went back and forth until he said politely to me last week that he would no longer be available to communicate with me via email. I have collected below some of what I thought were the most relevant of his answers to me although I can’t vouch for the veracity or accuracy of the information contained.

The resurgence of the United States’ favorite ‘native informant’ in Iraq

There exists a treasured class which flourishes in this world of raging empires – It is allowed to straddle its foreignness so long as it is in order to reaffirm Orientalist attitudes, and its members are often found crossing back and forth into and outside of the establishment’s dwellings. They are a fragment of the other but to the extent that they use their otherness to disparage those who reside beyond the empire’s domain. Their identity is commercialized; from their self imposed marginalization they cultivate their own brand of civilized personality, and through this they become the gatekeepers of history.

The republic’s new prince

The Lebanese people don’t have a president yet but, for a few moments, we thought we had a prince. Until the faulty report was retracted, we briefly lived in a country where a terrorist organization threatening state sovereignty was visibly more efficient than our parliament in choosing its leadership.

American spies and the contemporary Middle East: Bob Ames and Abu Hassan Salameh

There seems to be an increase in the number of books by and about former (or current) US spies. The phenomenon raises questions about the motives and purpose of all those books and articles that all share a glorification of US spy agencies and their men (rarely are women in US intelligence agencies portrayed as heroes as men are). But we know that US intelligence agencies don’t permit former spies or analysts to publish books and articles without previous screening and editing and approval by a US government censor. The legal justification is that the government wants to make sure that no intended or unintended release of information from classified information occurs. But the lines are not clear-cut: the government can (and has) censor what it may deem to be politically damaging.

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