All Not Quiet on the Middle Eastern Front
February 11, 2005
Dear HonestReporting Canada subscriber:
Hopes for Middle East peace received a boost this week when Israeli and Palestinian leaders declared a formal cessation of hostilities. But hostility is alive and well in the areas under Palestinian control and throughout the Middle East. The following are just a few news items from the past week. How many appeared in your local news media?
February 10, 2005
- Iranian president Mohammed Khatami drew chants of “Death to America” and “Death to Israel” from tens of thousands attending his speech marking the 26th anniversary of Iran’s Islamic Revolution. Khatami, considered an Iranian moderate by western news media, promised a “burning hell” for any country that attacked Iran. On the verge of being able to produce its own nuclear materials, Iran is facing growing international pressure from the international community.
- Israeli security forces arrested a Palestinian planning a suicide bombing attack against the Jerusalem neighbourhood of French Hill. The 21-year-old, arrested in Nablus, intended to carry out the attack on behalf of Hamas and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.
- Hamas fired over 40 mortar bombs, rockets and anti-tank missiles at Israeli communities, greenhouses, industrial zones and army posts in Gaza. (See an unexploded Qassam rocket at right.)
February 9, 2005
- Gunmen in Baghdad killed two sons of an Iraqi politician who favours normalizing ties with Israel. Mithal Al-Alusi survived the ambush on his car, but two sons with him were killed. Alusi’s private visit to Israel last year led to his expulsion from the Iraqi National Congress party.
February 8, 2005
An international conference on counter-terrorism hosted by Saudi Arabia coincided with Saudi TV’s interview of religious cleric Musa Al-Qarni. As conference spokesman Mansur al-Turki declared that “terrorism cannot be linked to a particular religion, race, nationality or geographic region,” preacher Al-Qarni informed the Saudi TV audience that:
The uproar and the chaos that we see today in the human race – the killing, the acts of aggression, the rape, the robbery, and the disgrace of honour – what causes this is that the banners which are hoisted high are those of the Jews, the Christians, and other religions and faiths, and not the banner of Allah… If someone wants to prevent religion and light from reaching people, such a person must be fought. This religion [Islam] uses the sword when necessary. (Watch video here.)
Iranian television broadcast an interview with filmmaker Ahmad Mir-Alawii, who explained to Iranian viewers:
There is a white ship sailing the oceans. It doesn’t enter the territorial waters of Iran or similar countries. Our Arab brothers must look out for this ship. In it [the Zionists] hold children only one or two years old, who don’t know anything. These are children no one cared for. They are kidnapped by various means under the pretext of wanting to take care of them. These children are held on this ship, and no one knows their fate. They become teenagers, not knowing what their fate will be. They receive the best medical care and are under constant physical monitoring and supervision. Why do [the Zionists] give them such care? To use them for medical purposes. They use the heart, the kidneys, and their other organs. (Watch video here.)
February 4, 2005
Palestinian TV broadcast a Friday sermon by senior religious cleric Sheik Ibrahim Madiras in which he told Palestinian viewers that
We do not love any land more than the land of Palestine… We might return to the 1967 borders by diplomacy, but we shall not return to the 1948 borders by diplomacy… We shall return to the 1967 borders, but it does not mean that we have given up on Jerusalem, and Haifa, Jaffa, Lod, Ramle, Netanya and Tel Aviv. Never. Your fathers’ blood … shall curse anyone who will concede a grain of earth of those villages. (Watch video here.)
February 3, 2005
- Israeli security forces arrested a Palestinian youth carrying an explosive belt into Israel at the Hawara crossing south of Nablus. The 15-year-old (seen at right, phoning home) was also equipped with a rifle and 20 bullets. According to Israeli security sources, this is the third time in 10 months that a Palestinian child carrying an explosive belt was arrested at the Hawara checkpoint.
- In an interview on Saudi TV, researcher Suleila Hammad informed viewers that there is “a conspiracy” to “eliminate Islam” and “divide all the Arab countries into mini-states.” Who did Hammad attribute the conspiracy to?
Without a doubt, it is Jewish-Zionist. This ideology was sown in us since the early days of Islam, since [the Jew] Abdallah Ibn Al-Saba, and they feed it… The Saudi youth that is being seduced, they don’t know that there are infiltrating Zionist, Freemasons groups, which pretend to be Muslim and which incite them. (Watch video here.)
How You Can Make a Difference
Did these news items appear in your local media? If not, here is how you can make a difference:
- Increase your knowledge base by visiting Web sites like the Jerusalem Post, the Conference of Presidents’ Daily Alert, Palestinian Media Watch, MEMRI TV, and other useful informational sites.
- When Canadian news media fail to report important news items, contact the newsroom and ask them to report this information. A comprehensive listing of Canadian news media can be found here.
Mohamed Elmasry, the Canadian Islamic Congress president who in October declared that all Israeli men and women over the age of 18 “should be considered legitimate targets,” continues his return to media respectability. On December 31 the Canadian Press newswire became the first major Canadian news outlet to quote him in an article. On January 5 and 8, the Toronto Star and Toronto Sun quoted Elmasry on tsunami relief. And on January 22, several CanWest newspapers — including the National Post, Montreal Gazette and Vancouver Sun — quoted Elmasry on the issue of polygamy.
As we have said before, considering how quickly Elmasry graduated from disgraced terror apologist to credible media source, it is only a matter of time before news organizations use Elmasry as a spokesperson on a wider array of issues. Can Elmasry quotes on the Arab-Israeli conflict be far off?